Health Advice



How exercise transforms your genetic future

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

When Chris Pratt went from pudgy (300 pounds) Andy Dwyer in TV's "Parks and Recreation" to ripped Peter Quill in "Guardians of the Galaxy" he knew he was transforming his career. But what he didn't know was that he was changing his muscles' genetic makeup too.

A study in Cell Reports looked at a group of amateur athletes, 34 to 53, to see what DNA to RNA transcription changes happened in long-term endurance trainers (cyclist and runners) and strength trainers (using weights) compared with untrained controls. The researchers found that men and women doing endurance training exercises regularly for the past 15 years had altered the makeup of more than 1,000 genes -- strengthening muscles, improving metabolic functions and protecting long-term health and cognition. Long-term strength training did alter the way cells burn fuel and the composition of muscle tissue, but did not appear to have the profound effect on genes' functioning.

The research did show, however, that in people with metabolic syndrome or pre- or full-blown Type 2 diabetes, adopting an endurance exercise training program for six to 12 months shifts gene expression, like it does for long-term exercisers. You do not have to be an endurance athlete to see a lot of benefit! So, if you start working out today, exercise can cause changes in how your body protects itself from injury and disease.

For workout ideas, check out; search for "how to start cycling." And visit for video instructions on endurance exercise and strength training.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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