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How to increase your lifespan with biology's spooky interaction. Or, what the heck is a Telomere?

Updated: Mar 14

What is a telomere?

Increase lifespan telomere length
A generic DNA strand. Very pretty.

Telomeres are the 'knobbly bits' at the end of your chromosomes. Over time they shorten. This correlates with the length of your life. You are thinking: "Eeek that's flipping creepy! I have a body-timer waiting to go ping! Then I b*gger off back to stardust!" Yes it is a bit disturbing!

Telomeres are 'lumps' of non coding DNA that keep your DNA 'locked in place'. They remind me of those waxy plastic caps at the end of a climbing rope in school. Remove the plastic bit and the rope will fray.

As they shorten with age, there is an associated decrease in cell division, and an increase in 'cell death' and tumours. This obviously increases your chances of disease, illness and death. Well, we are all going to cop it, but is there anything we can do to slow this down? Amazingly, we can measure telomere's and how they respond to different human activity.

It has been proven that athletes and elite exercisers all tend to have significantly longer telomere's than everyone else. This is no surprise as we all know the overall benefits of hard exercise.

It may not be enough to do a bit of jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, yoga, weight training or gardening, unless each of those activities is of a high intensity over a shorter period.

Increase lifespan telomere length
I never smile doing this, it's way too knackering!

Researchers have found that targeted acute exercise can slow, pause and wait for it..... even lengthen telomeres. WOW! HIIT (high intensity interval training), plyometric sequences (jumping push ups, box jumps and burpees etc), mixed in with resistance and normal aerobics. The research is thin on the ground with this type of training as not many of us are doing it. However, all the signs are pointing in this direction.

Increase lifespan telomere length
Dance jumps are a form of acute plyometric training..

There has also been a non-exercise based result from a study in Israel. Telomere length was observed to increase after test subjects were placed in an oxygen tank for five 90 minute sessions per week. Amazing! However, you can get the same results from acute training 3-5 hours per week, PLUS all the benefits of an increase in cardio-vascular health, strength, agility, illness reduction, disease reduction and mental health improvement. Also you don't need a great big f****** oxygen tank in your house!


Have a lovely day and get lengthening those telomeres!

Please contact me directly for media enquiries, academic enquiries, questions and links to research paper's. Thank you! ©️ 2021 Dan Raynham.

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