Intense Exercisers Have Longer Telomeres.
A scientific research team in Homburg, Germany, showed that 50- year- old men who ran more than 50 miles per week at a fast pace had telomeres (a telomere is a region of repetitive DNA at the end of a chromosome, which protects the end of the chromosome from dietoration) that were almost the same length as those of 20-year-old runners on the German National Team, and more than 40 percent longer than those of inactive men of the same age. This is very astonishing because shortened telomeres represent aging.
A similar finding was reported in London, were 2,401 sets of twins who exercised regularly had telomeres that were longer than those of their own couch potatoes. Other studies show that people who exercise regularly live an average of 12 years longer than non – exercisers. In addition, most middle aged and older athletes look significantly younger than non – exercisers of the same age.
The above findings indicate that older people who exercise regularly, and play other sports at close to the level of much younger athletes stay fit just like their younger counterparts. Recent studies show that intense exercise may also slow the effects of aging on their cells as well as their hearts and muscles.
The perception of time on the other hand is psychological than being chronological. I am not suggesting that chronological time is irrelevant. Let me explain this phenomenon with an example which is quoted in Dr Deepak Chopra’s book titled Unconditional Life: “The story is about a coal mine disaster in Germany. A small group of miners were trapped underground after a massive – cave – in. They realized that that the air in the mine shaft would last only a limited number of hours. As it turned out, just one of the groups was wearing a wristwatch, and he began to announce the time while the men anxiously awaited rescue. To sustain hope in the others, he did not announce the right time, however; he called out one hour whenever two hours had passed. Six days later, a rescue team found the trapped miners; astonishingly, they were all still alive with one exception – the man who wore the watch.” I believe the above story will explain that time is more of a psychological phenomenon than chronological. To hasten the aging process implies the ability to control it. Adi Shankaracharya once said, “People grow old and die because they see other people grow old and die.” The above statement by the great Master seems to be true, as most of us create our realities by comparing it with others.
In relation to the above findings on age and health, I am eager to post a video of a recent track and field record holder. Frank is 95 years young and currently holds two world records. He recently broke the world record for 5000 meters of his age group. We all consider 60 years to be old enough to retire from any physical activity. Why even some of us think that we should slow down right after we reach the age of 50. But here is another example which proves the above statement wrong, as Frank took competitive running not until he reached the age of 65. He also performs pushups, and in the adjoining video you can watch him hitting a punching bag.
Question–how many of us can run a 5000 meters race? Not many of us I believe. One of the training principle states: “Use it or lose it.” This goes to say that you have to use your body to stay strong and healthy, or it will wither away without any prior indication, and it will be late before realization dawns on you that your body has given up. Staying fit has numerous benefits, for it is a vital requirement to enjoy your life productively. I also believe health to be the first and foremost prerequisite for a better quality of life. As Voltaire (French revolutionary writer) several hundred years ago had rightly said, “Indolence is sweet and its consequences bitter.” Rightly so, because if you spend your time lazing around, it will be late before you realize how significantly it has adversely affected your health and well being. In addition, it amazes me to know that most of us start to care about health only after we have experienced ill health. For example, people who have just realized that their blood sugar is high, which indicates the onset of diabetes start to care about their health thereafter. They then exercise and follow a strict diet after the disease has dented their health, but never before will they realize the importance of diet and exercise before they are infected by any such diseases. With some amount of awareness if they stop abusing their bodies, it will do a lot of good to prevent such diseases and stay healthy for many years to come by.
I very much hope that Frank will inspire you all to tread the fitness path and realize that time entirely depends on how the person perceives it. Do watch the video. Please remember that PREVENTION IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN CURE.