Studies indicate that exercise might delay human biological aging, but the effects of long-term exercise on T cell function are not well known. We tested the hypothesis that moderate or intense exercise lifestyle may attenuate the effects of aging on the telomere length and the survival and composition of T cell subpopulations. Elderly (65-85 years) with intense training lifestyle (IT, n = 15), moderate training lifestyle (MT, n = 16), and who never trained (NT, n = 15) were studied. Although the three groups presented the age-associated contraction of the TCD4(+)/TCD8(+) naïve compartments and expansion of the memory compartments, both training modalities were associated with lower proportion of terminally differentiated (CD45RA(+)CCR7(neg)) TCD4(+) and TCD8(+) cells, although among the latter cells, the reduction reached statistical significance only with IT. MT was associated with higher proportion of central memory TCD4(+) cells, while IT was associated with higher proportion of effector memory TCD8(+) cells. However, both training lifestyles were unable to modify the proportion of senescent (CD28(neg)) TCD8(+) cells. Telomeres were longer in T cells in both training groups; with IT, telomere length increased mainly in TCD8(+) cells, whereas with MT, a modest increase in telomere length was observed in both TCD8(+) and TCD4(+) cells. Reduced commitment to apoptosis of resting T cells, as assessed by caspase-3 and Bcl-2 expression, was seen predominantly with IT. Measurement of pro-inflammatory cytokines in serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)'s supernatants did not show chronic low-grade inflammation in any of the groups. In conclusion, MT and IT lifestyles attenuated some of the effects of aging on the immune system.