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When Identical Twins Aren't So Identical: Fitness Matters

Posted by Jessica Windell on

A ground-breaking new study recently published further expounds on the effects of regular physical activity and fitness on the body and brain. The study conducted at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland observed 10 sets of male twins over the course of several years. The twins in the study came from the same home and participated in similar activities as children. However, after leaving home, each twin developed their own lifestyle; one twin was more physically active – which the study classified as activity 6 times a month or more, while the other lived a more sedentary life.

The study found the twin that remained active over their adult lifetime increased their lifespan and had better cardiovascular health, as well as far more grey matter in the section of the brain that involves coordination and motor control. It was noted in the study that the twins’ food choices were surprisingly similar, meaning their diets had little effect on their conditions.

Even though the study was small, Dr. Urho Kujala, the professor who oversaw the study, believes these results reinforce the concept that regular exercise has an enormous impact on our health. On top of that, it’s encouraging to see we actually might have some control over our own genetic destiny by making the choice to stay active.

You can find more information about the study via the New York Times here.