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March 2008 RVC Column

(Written and posted 2/6/08)

Northwest Passages

RVC Column for March Newsletters in Region 8
by John Recht, Region 8 RVC

In my column last month I enthused about exercise as a part of my life, and just as it reached print I received word about a new study that suggests that there might be more of a benefit to regular exercise than I had imagined. According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine on Jan. 28, researchers have found that more active subjects might be biologically younger than less active subjects based on the length of the telomeres at the tips of chromosomes in their white blood cells.

The results of the study suggest that regular exercise may help to slow down your body clock, since telomere length helps govern cell division, and shorter lengths correlate with the aging of your cells. The most active group in the study, composed of subjects averaging more than three hours of exercise a week, had telomeres the same length as people who were 10 years younger but who averaged 16 minutes of exercise a week. The researchers found that the difference in telomere length held up even after adjusting the data to allow for differences in age, sex, genes, smoking, body weight, and socioeconomic status. That news cheered me considerably as I headed out the door in the rain for my next walk, I can tell you.

Naturally I would like to share the benefits of exercise with my Mensa friends, and I was delighted to hear from Oregon Mensa RG Chair Michael Meagher that there will be a room at BeaveRG XI: Power Surge reserved for active pursuits, like dancing and juggling. It's a great idea, and it's just one of many reasons to come to Portland from May 4-6. Visit http://www.oregon.us.mensa.org/rg/ for the latest info and for your chance to experience Mensa at its best, live and in person.

While you are exercising your finger on the mouse, here are a few more upcoming events that I recommend you click on: the 2008 Annual Gathering in Denver on Jul. 2-6 ( ag2008.us.mensa.org ), Colloquium 2008, Tracking Granny's Granny: The Genealogy Quest! in Salt Lake City on Sep. 12-14 ( colloquium.us.mensa.org ), and the newest RG in Region 8, Northern Nevada Mensa's Biggest Little Reno Gathering: Come Play With Us! on Oct. 3-5 ( northernnevada.us.mensa.org ). With all these terrific choices to get you moving, you can't miss...hope to see you there!