Though I’m not a mother, if there’s one common theme I hear over and over from new mothers it’s how insanely exhausted they are.
No surprises here, but bad sleep and sheer exhaustion leads you to feel more haggard and just plain old OLDER than you real are. And this feeling makes many women I have spoken with admit that they feel like a depreciating asset, as they bitterly watch their husband grey with grace.
According to a new study, feeling old might not just be about poor sleep: It might just be the sad scientific reality of being a mother!
The study done at George Mason University in Virginia discovered that mothers age faster on a cellular level than women without kids, and that this aging is even more accelerated than that of those who smoke, and even of those who are obese.
The research was published in the Journal Human Reproduction and looked at the telomere length of 2,000 women—the end caps on the DNA’s chromosomes that protect them from deterioration (sort of like how the plastic on the end of shoelaces stops the laces from fraying). Each time a cell replicates, a small amount of telomere is lost so they naturally shorten with age; however, some people’s telomeres shrink faster than others.
The result of the study: Women who had given birth to a child or children had telomeres that were 4.2 percent shorter than those who didn’t have children, which was essentially equivalent to childless women 11 years older than them. In other words, mothers’ shoelaces were more frayed than women of the same age without children.
If you’re a science nerd and want more details, check out the whole study HERE.
Why this is Notable:
Telomere length has been associated with skin age. So, if you’re a mother and feel your skin is starting to look older than you’d like, it might not just be because you haven’t slept well in months.
But “superficial” reasons aside, telomere length has also been linked to diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
So if you’re a mother, or are thinking about being a mother, what can you do to ensure you don’t become 10 years older on a cellular level?
A good place to start is with fitness!
In fact, get this: A study from 2017 published in Preventative Medicine looked at fitness and found similar result in reverse to the recent one about motherhood.
The study looked at telomeres from close to 6,000 adults, as well as their physical activity level, and found that the more people exercised, the longer their telomeres were, meaning the younger they were at a cellular level (up to about 9 years of aging, so very similar to the recent motherhood study). Read more in an article in Time Magazine HERE.
So if you’re a mom, or hoping to become one soon, it might be even more important than you thought to stay fit. Contact us now.