Telomere Health and Exercise..

Illustratrion: Image credit - Light Spring


If you have not heard of Telomeres… you may want to pay attention.    First let’s talk about the Health Span vs Disease Span. Health Span is the number of years one lives a healthy life. Disease Span is the number of years one lives with a disease or diseases.  I am guessing all of you would prefer to live a long life in the health span.   What is the sure sign the time you will spend in the Health Span opposed the Disease Span? The length and condition of your Telomeres is the marker.

So, what are these telomeres?   

Our DNA is organized into chromosomes in all the cells in our bodies.  At the end of each chromosome is a repetitive DNA sequence called telomere that caps chromosomes to protect it ends from deteriorating.  Telomeres protect chromosomes that allow cells to reproduce and the bodies ability to renew itself. 

Shortened and frayed telomeres:  Age and Other Factors

As we age, our telomeres shorten and begin to fray.  Think the end of your sneaker string.  That plastic cap that holds your shoestring engaged.  That plastic cap is like your telomere.  What can fast forward telomere shortening and fraying besides aging:  Sedentary lifestyle, chronic stress and our stress response, malnutrition (eating empty nutrients that ultimately rob the body of enzymes and vitamins and minerals), lack of sleep and even our outlook on life. 

Two things can occur when chromosomes are not protected by weak frayed shortened telomere:  Cell death which the body cannot renew itself or Senescence cells… Disease cells become inflamed and pollute and disease nearby cells and overtime form clusters that increase masse of inflammation in body.

Early Pathway to Disease is Telomeres Shortening

This chart by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows age group and the most prevalent diseases.   From the graph one can clearly see the death rate for chronic disease increases after 40 and goes up dramatically after 60.

US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Cotrol and Prevention.

Telomerase – Take Back Control!

Most likely if you haven’t heard about Telomeres, I am guessing you haven’t heard about Telomerase.  Telomerase is an enzyme found in the body that actually lengthens telomeres, keeps cells dividing, slows down the aging process and keeps you in the healthy disease-free life span!

How to Increase Telomerase?

You guessed it.   Eat right, get plenty of sleep, try to minimize the chronic stress and learn techniques to your stress response, positive outlook and exercise!  On the later, exercise. What if I told you there are two particularly exercises you can do that will increase your telomerase health 2 to three fold and lengthened telomere length. In short HIIT and Endurance keeps you young and healthy! 

Telomeres Offer Clarity on the most Beneficial Exercise

A study published in the European Heart Journal Today, researcher looked at the effects of three different types of exercise:   Aerobic Endurance, Interval and Strength Endurance Training on the on the way cells in the human body age, and they found that endurance and high intensity training both slowed or even reversed cellular aging two to three fold, but that resistance training did not.

High Intensity Training Takes the Lead! With 30 Second Sprints

Another study was just conducted in the Mayo clinic that showed HIIT training slowed down aging on a cellular level more so then cardio.  In fact the biggest results were with the older participants.

High Intensity Interval Training Benefits  (Moderate Training 2 -3 days a week)

HIIT induces Autophagy – think of Pac Man going thru and eating all the weak, damaged cells while allowing body to produce younger healthier cells.

HIIT induces Apoptosis – weak cell death.  The weak cells that are left.

HIIT limits the amount of cortisol that is secreted by the adrenals that produces just the right amount of oxidative stress the body needs to become strong without exhausting the adrenal glands or making the body cortisol resistant.

HIIT produces antioxidants to clean up the free radicals left by the small portion of oxidative stress from the workout hours after workout.

HIIT – increases mitochondria in body the energy power houses thus the VO2 max – oxygen consumption. 

Rebounding – Primal Workouts and Telomere Health

Happy people, happy cells, good digestion and good sleep increase telomerase activity.  Many research articles talk about how bouncing on a trampoline elevates mood, enhances sleep and improves digestion.

Rebounding also stimulates detoxification on a cellular level which incredibly powerful if your rebounding following the HIIT Sprint 8 format!  Being very low impact, anyone at any level can take advantage of High Intensity Interval Training!


Weather you do Endurance like a brisk walk, hike or HIIT it is well studied how exercise shields the body of the damaging effects of chronic stress – shortened telomeres. Exercise is a powerful way to control your stress response and puts you in control!

Resistance Training – A MUST!

Even though resistance training does not lengthen telomeres it should very much be part of your fitness regime.  Resistance training is needed for bone, muscle health, weight loss and for a toned physique.


Yoga is wonderful for Telomere health as a great way to reduce stress hormones as well as to build a strong body and build a strong mind.  Yoga is moving mediation.

 Increasing telomerase activity, lengthening telomeres while building a strong body and mind with a great community!


The Telomere Effect, Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, Elissa Epel, PhD.

Endurance but not resistance training has anti-aging effects, by European Society of Cardiology;

The Workout Debate: Experts Weigh in on Cardio VS. HIIT;March 21, 2018; | by Abbey Anderson;

Enhanced Protein Translation Underlies Improved Metabolic and Physical Adaptations to Different Exercise Training Modes in Young and Old Humans; CLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL REPORT| VOLUME 25, ISSUE 3P581-592, MARCH 07, 2017

Educate to Empower You to OWN your Health!

Roxanne Linton WHE, WHC, CCP
Wellness Professional

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