There are a number of things that lead to better health, exercise, healthy eating and meditation being some of the few. It seems as though these lifestyle changes may benefit people on even a cellular level, a new study shows. The study, published in the journal The Lancet Oncology, emphasizes that it’s never too late to start changing to a healthy lifestyle, and that those changes could even reverse cell aging by increasing the length of telomeres. Telomeres are the caps that protect the ends of chromosomes, similar to the plastic ends of shoelaces to stop them from fraying. Shorter telomeres have been linked with cell aging and increased risks of age-related diseases, such as like cancer and dementia. “We know from earlier studies that eating an unhealthy diet, smoking cigarettes, being under chronic emotional stress, loneliness and depression may shorten telomeres. But this is the first one we can actually increase the length of them,” said study researcher Dean Ornish, M.D. according to the Huffington Post For the study, Ornish assigned 35 men with low-risk prostate cancer, who were not being treated for their cancers but were undergoing active surveillance, to one of two groups. One group of 10 men was instructed to make healthy lifestyle changes for five years, while the other group of 25 men was not instructed to make any changes. All of the study participants’ telomeres were measured at the start of the study. Researchers followed up with the men after the study period, and found that telomere length actually increased among the men who were assigned to undergo the lifestyle intervention, by an average of 10 percent. Meanwhile, telomere length decreased by an average of 3 percent among the men not assigned to a lifestyle intervention.They also found that the amount telomeres lengthened was linked with the degree to which the men implemented the healthy lifestyle changes, with those making more changes experiencing greater lengthening of their telomeres.