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How Exercise Affects Your Genes, and More

Neurons in the Brain

Story at-a-glance -

  • Brief, vigorous exercise causes immediate structural and chemical changes in the DNA molecules within your muscles that benefit your health
  • Endurance training also produces beneficial genetic changes that play a role in energy metabolism, insulin response, and muscle inflammation
  • Increased blood flow from regular exercise adapts your brain to turn different genes on or off; many of these changes help protect against diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

By Dr. Mercola

Virtually everyone would agree that exercise improves health, but the mechanisms by which it actually produces those benefits have been challenging to tease out.


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