14 Min Vigorous Activity Can Prove to Be a 'Stress-Buffer'

A novel research has suggested that short bouts of vigorous exercise can assist in protecting individuals from the effects of stress by reducing its impact on telomere length.

Vigorous physical activity include as little as 14 minutes daily for three day period on per week basis would pose its fruitful results, according to findings published online in the May 26 issue of PLoS ONE.

The apparent benefit reflects exercise's effect on the length of tiny pieces of DNA known as telomeres. These telomeres operate, in effect, like molecular shoelace tips that hold everything together to keep genes and chromosomes stable.

Telomeres (pronounced TEEL-oh-meres) are said to be small pieces of DNA that give genetic stability and poses as a protective sheaths by preventing chromosomes from getting unraveled, much like plastic tips at the ends of shoelaces.

The research reveals that short telomeres are the culprit behind a spate of health problems, including coronary heart disease and diabetes, and also, premature death as they tend to shorten over time in reaction to stress.

Study co-author Elissa Epel, an associate professor in the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) department of psychiatry, quoted, "Even a moderate amount of vigorous exercise appears to provide a critical amount of protection for the telomeres”.