Word of the Day: Telomere

January 28, 2010

Telomeres

Telomeres are the little white ends

What if I told you one of the most important words in your health vocabulary should be telomere.  Let me give you a quick definition and you should immediately understand what I am talking about.  A telomere is the end of a chromosome. These specialized structures are involved in the replication and stability of linear DNA molecules.

Wait….what?

In all seriosness, anti aging experts now believe that telomeres may be the key to staying young and more importantly staying healthy.  What the experts now know is when the telomere shortens the cell it is living in dies.  This is important in that cell death can lead to serious disease as well as pre mature aging.

The experts are now focusing creating therapies to lengthen already shortened telomeres or even better yet, how to prevent them from shortening in the first place.

What have they found works well in preventing telomere shortening….Exercise.  Research shows that people who exercise have less erosion of their telomeres than people who are healthy but are not very active.

Last post I encouraged people to get out and vote.  This post I am encouraging you to just plain get out and get moving….your telomeres are depending on it.


How to Not Face the Recession

May 22, 2009

The American Academy of Family Physicians just released a survey where almost 90% of 600 family doctors reported their patients have expressed concerns about paying their bills and 87% were showing up with more signs of stress since the recession had started.

Ok, fair enough people are worried, what is disturbing is what they chose to cut down on in order to save money.

  • 25% of their patients with gym memberships planned to cancel them
  • 42% planned to buy fewer fruits and vegetables

This couldn’t be a worse strategy.  Fast food, no exercise and stress all lead to heart attacks, stroke and obesity.  Please let me assure you that the paltry amount you are saving will be wiped out in one trip to the ER, or one hospital admission.  Check your insurance policy, I bet you are looking at at least a $500 co-pay for the ER and potentially even more if you are admitted, where costs can run $500 a day and up.

Imagine how much healthy food you could buy for $2000-$3000 that  a typical heart attack or stroke would cost you.  This is the definition of being penny smart but pound foolish.  Still worried, start a garden.  Seeds are cheap, water is cheap and dirt is plentiful.  Put some labor into it and you will have a harvest.

 Can’t afford the gym?  Try getting a home workout video from the library, or go for a walk.  Push ups, wall squats and sit ups don’t cost a thing.   Check with friends about used exercise equipment that is doubling as a coat hanger…..trust me EVERYONE has these things sitting at home.  People will pay you to get rid of this stuff.

Now is not the time to cut back on the healthy things.  Now is the time to ramp them up.