Can exercise affect my genes?

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Muscle cells become fat-shredding machines after even just 20 minutes of exercise, according to new research by Swedish scientists. By measuring "epigenetic modifications," researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden found that exercise genetically reprograms muscle for strength and metabolic benefits. While the genetic changes won't alter the hardwired main code of your deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), exercise's effects can improve insulin sensitivity and control blood sugar levels, which are key to preventing diabetes and maintaining overall health. The study was published in Cell Metabolism.

The study authors noted that the more intense the exercise, the greater the improvements in chemical markers. From the cellular level to overall physical attractiveness, a regular training program can change your body and your life.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Evidence shows that exercise does way more than torching that breakfast burrito and toning your butt: It can actually turn on specific genes to benefit your health and make your life better (less disease, less disability, more vigor).

A new Swedish study of inactive people who started exercising revealed that using your muscles activates genes that promote fat-burning, prevent disease and disability, and boost energy and brain power. The benefits of exercise kick in within minutes of your first steps, so you win every time you move, whether taking a lunchtime stroll or an all-day bike ride, or dancing to your favorite tunes. In fact, the study has experts around the world agreeing with me: Physical activity is great and enjoyable medicine. I like to call it Lifestyle Medicine.

This "gene therapy" isn't science fiction. I'm not talking about freaky deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) changes that'll boost your IQ 100 points or transform you into a leaping lizard. Your basic genetic code, handed down from your ancestors (thanks, Mom and Dad!), stays the same. Whether the genes are turned on or not is apparently up to you. Not all genes are active. You have the power to turn on your good genes and tone down the not-so-healthy gene types.

Continue Learning about Types Of Exercise

Types Of Exercise

Types Of Exercise

Exercise provides many health benefits - from fitness to increased physical and mental energy. In order to prepare yourself for a exercise routine, you need to research which exercise is right for you and how to fit a new exercise ...

e program into your daily schedule.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.