19 December 2014 Do You Like to Workout, but Love to Eat? Change that Around

They are a couple sayings I’m sure we’ve all said before: “Sure, I like to work out,” and when we’re making dinner plans, “Boy, I love to eat!” The problem is that we should switch those around, and in fact, if we do, we might just change our very DNA.

According to a recent article on The New York Times Health Blog, how we exercise can actually change our DNA. A study published in Epigenetics by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm suggests that exercise changes the shape and functioning of our genes. When we exercise certain genes become active or quieter, but before we did not understand exactly why this happened.

In the study 23 young and healthy men and women were physically and medically tested. They were then instructed to exercise half of their lower bodies for three months (for example, pedaling a bicycle with only one leg). Researchers found that only the muscles that were worked showed improvements and changes. Furthermore, the muscles that exercised also showed more methyl groups (the patterns on genes in our DNA), and in some places, fewer methyl groups.

The roles these methyl groups play include energy metabolism, insulin response, and inflammation within muscles. Ever notice how “less” sore we get when we exercise regularly?

“Through endurance training — a lifestyle change that is easily available for most people and doesn’t cost much money,” Ms. Lindholm (leader of the study) said, “we can induce changes that affect how we use our genes and, through that, get healthier and more functional muscles that ultimately improve our quality of life.”

Are you looking for ideas to get more exercise in your day? The blog, SkinnyMom, offered up “5 Workouts for Women Who Hate Exercise” (pardon the title, some men don’t like exercise either!). Here are their five suggestions:

Boxing: Boxing may sound intimidating, but you can find some boxing classes that don’t involve boxing another person — just the punching bag.

Team sports: Team sports are great motivators. Plus, they offer social interaction, like meeting new people and strengthening the bonds with your friends or family.

Canoeing or kayaking: Canoeing and kayaking are great low-impact upper-body and core workouts, but you’ll be so distracted by the sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors that you’ll hardly realize you’re working out.

Yoga: Yoga focuses on both physical and mental strength, so you’ll be able to hone in on your spiritual life as well as your physical life.

Walking: Who can say no to good old fashioned walking? If you find walking boring, maybe amp up your speed a little bit, or bring your favorite tunes along with you.

If hitting the gym is at least a little bit of interest to you, here are a few tips for proper gym etiquette, as provided by Joey Thurman, owner of Morph Personal Training, and creator of The Lifestyle Renovation:

  1. DO deodorize, before and after: Everyone knows that you should pile on the deodorant after a healthy sweat, but it’s also simple etiquette to do so before the gym. Small odors from the workday can grow exponentially while you work out, and nobody wants that. Especially the girl next to you.
  2. DON’T wear cologne or perfume: Avoid wearing heavy amounts of perfume or cologne when working out. The smells will radiate as you work up a sweat and may cause nausea among your fellow gym goers. And if you think wearing your commercial body spray will have the ladies lining up, you are sorely mistaken!
  3. DO wash your workout clothes. Everyday: See point one. Even if you don’t notice odors on your clothes post-workout, as soon as those materials are exposed to perspiration again, they will release a foul odor. Buy a few back-up items and rotate between visits.
  4. DON’T hit on fellow gym goers: The gym is not an appropriate place to pick up a date. Most people hate working out and do so for health reasons, so they’re understandably focused on themselves. Don’t try to strike up a conversation with someone wearing headphones.
  5. DO be discreet with makeup: Whether you’re joining the “most exclusive” gym in town, you’re there for one reason only – YOU. Don’t dress like you are going to the club. Leave the glitter and makeup at home.
  6. DON’T be a know-it-all: Just because you’ve read the latest issue of Men’s Health or have been practicing the newest weightlifting trend does not mean you are an authority on working out. Do not offer help or advice unless someone asks you. Don’t even offer to spot someone.
  7. DO sanitize your equipment: There's nothing worse than putting your face down on a gym mat and lying in someone else’s sweat. Same goes for putting your hands on an elliptical handle and being met with a slick surface. Always utilize the gym’s sanitizing spray before and after using any equipment that isn’t your own.
  8. DON’T be noisy: Grunting, singing, rapping, or yelling across the gym are major faux pas. Not only is it blatant attention-seeking behavior, it’s extremely annoying. Keep your earphones at a reasonable level and your grunting to a minimum. If people are staring, it’s not because they think you’re cool.
  9. DO be courteous with equipment: While you shouldn’t necessarily cut your workout short, be mindful of those around you waiting for their turn on the machines. Everyone’s paying for a gym membership, so don’t be an equipment hog. Sharing is caring.
  10. DON’T walk around naked: While it’s not the biggest gym blunder, it can make others uncomfortable. Changing in the locker room is one thing, walking around in your birthday suit and sitting on the benches is another. There are towels for a reason.

Ryan Newhouse

Ryan Newhouse is the Marketing Director for MyNetDiary and writes for a variety of publications. He wants you to check out MyNetDiary on Instagram!

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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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