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The Epigenetics and Exercise Myth

Myth: Exercise cannot influence our epigenetics.

Truth: This is false.

Epigenetics is a chemical modification of our DNA that is dependent on our genetics and our environment, diet, and social activities. Epigenetics plays a central role in regulating mechanisms linked to cancer, metabolic disease, neurodegenerative disease, and other diseases. A study published in BMC Genomics examined how physical activity plays a role in influencing a person’s epigenetics.

Physical activity has been shown to improve gene regulation and metabolic processes. Specifically, the type of physical activity that one engages in also plays a role in how DNA can be modified. For example, high-intensity interval training has the potential to produce a cardiovascular adaptation to contribute to the maintenance of a stronger cardiovascular system. 

Reference

  1. Grazioli, E., Dimauro, I., Mercatelli, N., Wang, G., Pitsiladis, Y., Di Luigi, L. and Caporossi, D. (2017). Physical activity in the prevention of human diseases: role of epigenetic modifications. BMC Genomics, 18, 112–123.
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