You’ve stepped up your regular workout routine to get ready for beach season, but did you know your efforts could be adding years to your life? Kathy Smith, Spokesperson for the International  Council on Active Aging tells Fitbie, “The secret to anti-aging isn’t about creams and lotions, but about how to build a foundation from the inside-out with a strong body and a sound mind.” A regular fitness schedule has a number of anti-aging benefits, starting with your DNA.

Take Charge of Your DNA

Reported by, researchers conducted a study of more than 2,400 twins and found that the active participants, who worked out on a regular basis, had significantly longer telomeres. The telomere is a region of your DNA that directly correlates to the anti-aging process; longer telomeres translate to healthy aging and longevity.

The study went on to find that 30 minutes of exercise a day resulted in participants looking ten years younger, versus those who worked out 16 minutes a week. But that’s not all; you’ll benefit from bone strength (especially important for women), heart strength and brain strength, too.

Bone Strength

If you’re spending time in the weight lifting room at the gym, you’re on the right track. While low impact exercises don’t correlate to bone strength, lifting weights dramatically increases it. Often, most of this bone strength is built in your hips and spine, where much of osteoporosis patients suffer from weakness.

Why does this happen? Muscles are attached to your bones; they become activated while you’re lifting weights, which in turn puts stress on your bones. Your bones then go through a similar process as your muscles: tear, restore and grow. Start including strength training into your low-impact workouts to see this anti-aging benefit.

Heart Strength

All those early morning runs are doing more than shrinking your waist, they’re keeping your heart healthy. Regular exercise helps your heart grow, allowing it to efficiently pump blood through your body. The hearts of sedentary people shrink, which causes this very important muscle to be less effective at its job. Whether you like to walk, run, job or jump rope—get moving for a younger, healthier heart.

Brain Strength

You run to work off stress, clear your mind and stay healthy. But, while you’re working out your latest issue at work, your brain is actually growing new cells in the hippocampus—your memory center. In addition to cell growth, some other long term brain benefits of cardio include:

–  More oxygen flow into your brain as blood flow becomes steadier.

–  Steady blood flow cleanses your brain of amyloid-beta protein, which has been linked to Alzheimers.

While working out may not be the end all, be all to aging, it’s certainly a valuable anti-aging tool. Whether you like to lift weights, run or just take an afternoon stroll, your aging body is thanking you. Keep your bones strong, brain sharp and heart pumping for a longer and healthier life.