Size Does Matter...
Size does matter
When it comes to Telomeres
When it comes to your Telomeres - Size Does Matter.
So what does a shoelace have to do with living longer?
Not much really, only that it provides a great analogy for what a Telomere is.
Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces*
Basically, they are repeated sequences on the ends of DNA strands that hold everything together. They also help the DNA Strand from getting shorter during cell division.^
As we age our telomeres become shorter and shorter, when they become too short they become unable to effectively protect our chromosomes which can destroy or scramble an organisms genetic information - and ultimately, our cellular health becomes compromised.
This can weaken our immune system, lead to the age-related diseases and death.
Geneticist Dr Richard Crawthon from the University of Utah has conducted several studies on Telomeres; in particular Telomere length and it’s relationship with ageing and death - have a read of this study in which 143 unrelated individuals over the age of 60 were asses based on the association of telomere length and mortality;
“Those with shorter telomeres in blood DNA had poorer survival, attributable in part to a 3·18-fold higher mortality rate from heart disease, and an 8·54-fold higher mortality rate from infectious disease.”∞
In one interview with the Genetic Science Learning centre he explains that;
“People may be the same chronological age, but they could be a lot of variation in their biological age.”^
Now you might be thinking - hold up Shona - I’m a fair way away from ageing and/or age-related diseases.
But the truth is that waiting for sickness or the side-effects of ageing as a sign to start taking care of your cellular health is too little, too late.
This article isn’t meant to scare you into taking care of yourself (although, there isn’t anything wrong with a little fear-based coercion in the name of increased lifespan and less disease). However, I do hope to give you more reasons to exercise, meditate, drink more water, sleep more and respect your body - that AREN’T ALWAYS RELATED TO HAVING LINES DOWN YOUR STOMACH OR LESS CELLULITE OR REDUCED ‘LOVE HANDLES’.
So what can you do to potentially improve your Telomere length? I have two suggestions below:
1. Exercise - I know, you must be so sick of being told to exercise, but living a longer and less diseased life could be pretty good motivation right? Particularly if you’ve ever been through or witnessed true sickness in the body before.
The undeniable truth is that our bodies evolved at a time when we MOVED MORE than we sat, in fact, we didn’t ever sit in chairs the way we do today and our bodies really weren’t designed to handle that kind of sedentary lifestyle.
Don’t believe me?
Well, exercise science professor Larry Tucker found adults with “high physical activity levels have telomeres with a biological ageing advantage of nine years over those who are sedentary, and a seven-year advantage compared to those who are moderately active. To be highly active, women had to engage in 30 minutes of jogging per day (40 minutes for men), five days a week.”
"If you want to see a real difference in slowing your biological ageing, it appears that a little exercise won't cut it.”
2. Meditate - You’re probably sick of hearing me talk about this as well and look, I know it’s hard to stick to (possibly even get in to) but there is promising research emerging that suggests that those that consistently meditate have longer telomeres than those that don’t (but are as equally healthy).
I urge you to try meditation (My favourite kind is Vedic, but it does take twenty minutes in the morning and evening). If you feel stuck for where to start, try my 10 minute morning guided meditation here
Well look at that - Meditation and 30-40 minutes of rigorous Exercise, throw in some yoga and gluteal isolation and it sounds just like the Vertue Method. IT IS THE VERTUE METHOD! Lucky my fitness programme comes out on the 8th of October, 2018.
It's important that you don’t feel the pressures to ‘be healthy’ in an effort to meet the ephemeral beauty standards set by strangers - but DO feel the pressure to take care of yourself, your body and your health so that you can reduce your risk of disease and discomfort. And so that you can protect and be closer to your loved ones for longer.
Remember - there are 99 reasons to exercise, and fat loss doesn’t need to be one of them.
I hope you enjoyed this blog - Does anyone read blogs anymore? Obviously, you do if you got this far. Let me know if you would like me to write more - I figure I’d ask you seeing as though you committed to getting this far down the page. Thank you.
references and further reading for y’all:
*© What is a Telomere? | Human Cellular Aging | TA-65 TA Sciences
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