We’ve all heard about how good exercise is for us. Not only does it keep us looking good, it also keeps our heart healthy and can help prevent against certain diseases. Now, there’s even more reason to work out.
A new study in Cell Metabolism recently reported that exercise alters DNA within skeletal muscle. These alterations can help muscles work more efficiently and occur after a single workout.
The study looked at 14 young men and women who lived sedentary lifestyles. These individuals worked out on an exercise bike and gave muscle samples through a biopsy. Researchers took the biopsy before exercise and another one after. Researchers then compared gene activity before and after exercise.
Results showed that more genes were turned on after exercise, and the participants’ DNA showed less methyl group, which slows the cell’s ability to turn on certain genes. More intense exercise was shown to increase the number of methyl groups on the move.
Researchers also looked at the effect of caffeine, which had a similar effect. Caffeine releases calcium which can then increase the movement of methyl groups as does exercise. However, researches don’t recommend substituting caffeine for exercise, as caffeine primarily affects the central nervous system and not your cells.
The bottom line: 20 minutes of moderate activity will modify your genes, even after just one workout.
Assistance Provided by Tori Thompson