One of the most accurate biological markers that can tell us how long we will live are called telomeres. They are the “end caps” of our chromosomes that keep them from breaking down and fraying.
As you begin to age, segments of your telomeres begin to get clipped off until eventually there is nothing left, and cellular material begins to breakdown.
In a very simplistic sense, this is what the aging process looks like.
It is a daily process, but happens slowly over the years. However, certain lifestyle practices have proven to either slow down the loss of telomere length, or actually speed it up (Who wants to get older faster?)
One of the biggest factors in speeding up the shortening of telomeres?
Research done by the University of California has shown that sleep deprivation is one of the biggest triggers for accelerated loss of telomere length.
This further highlights the importance of quality sleep.
The average American who works an 8-5 job gets just at the border line of enough sleep, which is at approximately 7 hours. A good amount of sleep allows you to get in deeper, restorative sleep, which is the cycle of sleep where the body is able to repair from daily stressors.
When you fail to get into this zone of sleep, the repairs can not fully happen.
HOWEVER, research has also shown that people who exercised an average of 100 minutes per week had telomeres like those of people 5-6 years younger.
Taking it a step further, having periods of lifting heavy resistance stimulated hormones that enabled better restorative sleep, enhanced fat loss, and improve telomeres.
In short, if you want to stay feeling younger for as long as you can, INVEST in quality sleep, exercise at least 3 days per week, and incorporate resistance training.
- GET QUALITY SLEEP!
Which of these is your biggest challenge?