So, working out really does keep you young — science says so

Turns out, hitting the gym could do more than make you feel younger: New research suggests that exercise helps you stay young on a cellular level.

According to the new study in Preventative Medicine, biological aging markers in people with high levels of physical activity appeared a whole nine years younger than those in sedentary folks.

Studying almost 6,000 adults over several years, researchers looked at the way exercise affects telomere length. In case you’re wondering, telomeres are the proteins that cap the ends of chromosomes, and they serve as markers of aging and overall health.

“We know that, in general, people with shorter telomeres die sooner and are more likely to develop many of our chronic diseases, Larry Tucker, professor of exercise science at Brigham Young University and author of the study, told Time. “It's not perfect, but it's a very good index of biological aging." 

Top-tier exercisers — aka people who worked out between 30 and 40 minutes at least five days a week — saw the best results.

According to Tucker, moderate exercisers also saw benefits, but much smaller ones than top-tier exercisers.

“We all know people who seem younger than their actual age, Tucker said. “We know exercise can help with that, and now we know that part of that may be because of its effect on our telomeres.

Well, if you were looking for motivation to break out those sneakers and go for a run…you’ve found it.