Men who exercise, even just a little bit, can change the expression of their DNA and improve their cells metabolic rates; in simple terms, enhancing “positive” metabolic genes and repressing “negative” ones.
Research from Lund University in Sweden shows that the epigenetic pattern of DNA can be altered over several months of exercise, even mild exercise. The cells of you body contain DNA, which contains your genes, which are inherited and cannot be altered. However, your gene expression can be altered by “methyl groups”, which can be in turn altered through diet and other lifestyle choices.
In the study, mildly overweight men aged 35 and over who had never exercised before engaged in regular spinning or aerobics classes over six months. The men aimed for three times a week, but in reality averaged less than twice a week.
Researchers then analysed changes in the men’s gene expression, focusing on genes specifically linked to type two diabetes and obesity, though epigenetic changes had taken place in around 7,000 genes.
The researchers say that the altered DNA methylation, as a result of exercise, could shed light on how genes affect the risk of diseases like diabetes and obesity.
As if you needed yet another reason to hit that treadmill.