The choice is quite clear. It's 7pm on a beautiful spring evening (yes, it is still winter - you'll have to use a bit of imagination here...) and you've finished dinner. Now, all that's left is to settle into that easy chair, grab the trusty remote and prepare for a fabulous evening of moderately entertaining reruns. Or...
You could open the door and go for a walk.
But, does it really matter? According to researchers at King's College London it certainly does. They find people who maintain an active lifestyle during their free time are biologically younger than those who are slouches. As much as ten years younger - yikes!
The difference appeared between those who were at opposite ends of the activity scale. The most active were those who exercised an average of 199 minutes per week. For the math challenged among us, that's 3 hours and 19 minutes. The slouches, on the other hand, exercised only 16 minutes per week. That's an average of 2 minutes and 17 seconds each day. Wow - where do they find the time to cram in that extra 17 seconds?
For the technophobes, it all has to do with the length of telomeres, repeated sequences at the end of chromosomes, which shorten as we age. By comparing the length of telomeres in sets of twins with differing lifestyles, researchers were able to assess the impact of physical activity.
What does it all mean? Well, you can continue to watch mediocre television reruns as your life slips away, or you can mount a revolution of sorts. Ditch the vicarious glimpse into life's grand adventures and set out on your own journey. Go ahead, give it a try. All it takes to set your new lifestyle in motion is a single step...To read more about the study, see this from ScienceDaily. To learn more about exercise, see this from How Stuff Works.