How Exercise Affects DNA

How Exercise Affects DNA

Did you know that your workout has a huge spectrum of benefits to the point that your exercise affects DNA?  Ongoing research on exercise is uncovering all the health benefits that exercise has on your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Exercise helps you lose weight, stay active, and keep off obesity, hypertension, and diabetes.

Having a regular workout is great for your overall wellness as well as in staving off specific conditions. It also promotes vascular health and brain functioning, and even helps those who are suffering from Parkinson’s disease maintain their balance as they walk. However, a new study suggests that exercise affects DNA. Exercise changes the functioning and shape of the genes, an important discovery for health and fitness goals.

Workouts and Genes: Exercise Affects DNA

The human genome is dynamic yet complex, with genes constantly turning off and on as a result of the biochemical signals they receive from the body. Research suggests that when these genes are turned on, they cause physiological responses in the body as a result of particular proteins. Evidence gathered from studies suggests that exercise affects DNA in that it can lead to genes becoming quiet or active.

This can mean that it can actually change components of your makeup and that can impact your health in various ways.  Some of these may have to do with areas of your wellbeing that are actually noticeable. Others may have underlying effects that you won’t even know are there.

Epigenetics and Methylation Patterns: Changes in Genes’ Protein

Epigenetics is the name given to the process that changes the genes’ operation but not the DNA. These changes that take place on the outside of the genes are known as methylation. The changes in methylation patterns are a result of an individual’s lifestyle. Changes including exposure to pollutants, and certain diets can cause these methylation patterns to change certain genes in the DNA. This also affects the protein that these genes express. Risk of disease can increase, too, as a result of these changes, depending on the genes that have undergone changes.

Exercise Affects DNA: The Impact of Short-Term and Long-Term Physical Activity

Studies suggest that even a single workout may bring about changes in methylation patterns of certain genes. However, the effects of regular and long-term workout on methylation are not clear. What has made it difficult to study the long-term effects of working out on methylation changes is the many aspects of life that bring about changes in methylation, thus making it difficult to identify the ones that are brought about by exercise.

However, recent research has overcome this obstacle and has successfully identified changes that are brought about by long-term physical activity. This has led to findings that long-term physical activity brings about changes in over 5,000 sites on the genome of muscle cells that featured new methylation patterns. Gene expression, as a result of the long-term physical activity, was noted to have increased or changed, with most of these genes being ones that play a role in muscle inflammation, insulin response, and energy metabolism.

What Should You Take Away from This Research?

The main thing you can take from this research is that indeed, exercise affects DNA.  This can mean that you will experience certain mild benefits or those that could help to protect you from serious illness.  As studies continue, it could be that we will discover that the way workouts impact your genetic structure could prove the key to being healthier and developing muscles that are more functional, thus helping to improve your quality of life.

The better we understand the way exercise affects DNA, the more prepared we will be to use this information for practical purposes.  It could become possible to design specific workouts or physical strategies to produce results based on the way they alter an individual’s makeup right down to the DNA.

Moreover, as we come to better understand genetic risk factors for various illnesses and conditions, it may also be that certain physical therapies may be recommended for reducing that risk. It may not be long into the future that a gym membership could be considered to be a part of important medical treatments and prevention therapies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *