Do you have
clients in search of the fountain of youth? Tell them they can find it in the
gym! Scientists have recently discovered that people engaging in regular
physical activity appear biologically younger than their sedentary living
counterparts.

The study, published in the
January 28 issue of the Archives
of Internal Medicine
(2008; 168 [2]; 154–58), sought to determine
the effects on the internal aging system of sedentary living versus physically
active living. Authors measured leukocyte telomere length (LTL)—an established
marker of aging—in 2,401 white twins (2,152 women and 249 men) and found that
those who participated in regular physical activity had longer LTL than
inactive participants.

“A sedentary lifestyle (in addition to smoking,
high body mass index and low socio­economic status) has an effect on LTL and
may accelerate the aging process,” stated the study authors. “This provides a
powerful message that could be used by clinicians to promote the potentially
anti-aging effect of regular exercise.” Such information can also be used as a
tool for fitness professionals to continue to motivate clients and exercisers.