The pill- and potion-free fountain of youth

At some level, we’re all after the fountain of youth. Even if we wouldn’t want to return to our 20s or 30s, we sure would like our bodies to stay youthful, healthy, and strong as we age.

Well a new study suggests that maybe we can stay young. At least biologically, if not chronologically.

The researchers found the key to youth is physical activity. And not just a little physical activity, but consistent, high levels of activity. In the study, the people with the most active lifestyles had significantly longer telomeres than those who were sedentary or only moderately active.

I’ve talked about telomeres before, but here’s a quick refresher. They’re the endcaps on our chromosomes. And every time a cell replicates, they get a little bit shorter. Telomere length is closely tied to age. In general, the older we are the shorter our telomeres are.

So no matter what your age, you can tap into the fountain of youth — without any dubious pills or potions. Just up your exercise to 30 minutes of high-intensity exercise a day, five days a week for women (40 for men). Anyone up for a jog?