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Move It or Lose It: How Exercise Helps Our Genes

Updated: May 8

Exercise and Genetic Repair Explained

When we exercise, we're doing more than just working out our muscles; we are helping to repair our DNA. Here's how it works: As we live our lives, environmental factors like pollution, along with normal body processes, can cause damage to our cells' DNA. This damage, if unchecked, can lead to aging and various diseases. But when we engage in physical activity, our body activates a repair mechanism. Exercise increases the production of specific proteins that are crucial for fixing DNA.

Proteins such as GADD45 (Growth Arrest and DNA Damage 45), H2AFX (Histone H2A Family Member X), UNG (Uracil-DNA Glycosylase), and OXR1 (Oxidation Resistance 1) These proteins work on the damaged areas, repairing them and making our cells healthier and more resistant to future damage. In essence, by exercising, we're giving our bodies the tools to restore and protect our genetic material, helping us stay healthier for longer.

Boosting Cellular Health Through Exercise

When we work out, our bodies react to the stress in a good way. They make special helpers called antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances. These helpers fight off cell damage and keep our DNA safe. Also, working out makes our brain release something called BDNF. BDNF helps our brain grow new cells and make new connections, making our brain healthy and thinking sharp. So, when you exercise, not only do your muscles get stronger, but also your cells and your brain get healthier!

Long-term Benefits of Regular Exercise

Exercising regularly helps our genes by keeping our telomeres long. Telomeres are like the protective caps at the end of our chromosomes. They usually get shorter as we get older. But when we exercise a lot, these telomeres stay longer. This is great because longer telomeres mean we have a smaller chance of getting sick and can live longer lives.

Think of regular exercise as a shield for our genes, keeping them healthy and strong as we age. So, by keeping active, we're not just feeling better now; we're also helping our bodies stay healthier for a longer time.


The saying "MOVE IT OR LOSE IT" really applies to our genes. Exercise doesn't just keep us fit; it also makes sure our genes stay healthy and strong. By making exercise a regular part of our lives, we actively help our DNA repair and regenerate, leading to a healthier, longer life.

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