Do You Like to Workout, but Love to Eat? Change that Around
- 3 Minutes Read
Exercise should be loved a little more than eating if you want to change your DNA for a healthier lifestyle. Here's why.
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: