Regular Exercise Gets Deep Within Your DNA

By  //  February 19, 2012

EDITOR’S NOTE: This feature is courtesy of Magazine – Brevard County’s most respected, most read health and medical resource for both consumers and healthcare professionals. To subscribe to Magazine call 321-615-8111 or e-mail


SPACE COAST MEDICINE MAGAZINE – We all know that exercise can help athletes reach peak performance and help you lose weight. But did you know that it could also increase longevity. There has been an increasing amount of research on what humans can do to maximize lifespan or longevity. 

The discovery of the fountain of youth through exercise is now being evidenced with mounting facts that exercise can reverse aging and extend longevity. Prior to this finding, much of the research in anti-aging has been on the effects of starving rats and the direct correlation of caloric restriction by eating less and living longer.

However, if starving yourself is not all that appealing, you may want to seek another method to maximize or extend your life.  Fortunately, it has been discovered that, with the right kind of exercise routine, you achieve this worthy accomplishment.

Genetics Play Important Role

To understand the effects of exercise on longevity, it is important to understand a few basics of why and how aging occurs.  Genetics and who your parents are play an important role in our longevity and how fast we age.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES, if continued for a long term, have been found to bring about anti-aging effects at the cellular level. Research has found that intensive physical activity prevents the shortening of telomeres (highlighted by bright colors at right), which are the caps found on the ends of a DNA strand, and protect the reproduction quality of DNA.

Researchers, generally agree that genetics account for up to about 35 percent of the variation of why some people live longer than others.  There are specific genes or what’s in our DNA that makes up these genes, which help some people live longer than others. This component of aging is caused by certain genes changes and their ability to switch on and off over time.

The switching on and off of genes, in many ways, controls the risk of developing age related diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, cancers, dementia, and much more. So if we can’t pick our parents, it may make you feel a little helpless on your fate of achieving maximum longevity.

Deep Within Your DNA

However, there is good news.  Exercise has been proven to help control this inheritable out of control circumstance. Regular exercise literally gets deep within your DNA and in many beneficial ways may help you live longer.

The process of how this occurs continues to be studied with research showing that people who exercise actually have younger appearing and healthier genes that function better than their non-exercising same aged peers. In fact, a recent study has revealed that these genes can be made to appear and function up to nine years younger with regular exercise.

Why is making your genes appear and function in a more youthful manner important? Well it is believed that within your body’s DNA there are continual complex biochemical reactions that occur. The older appearing and functioning genes are more likely to produce reactions that cause cell damage and ultimately age the body. The younger genes perform better to ward off this damage and prevent illness and disease.

Increased  Immunity

Besides the benefits of exercise on our genes, there are many other ways that exercise can increase our longevity.  It has beneficial effects on our bones by strengthening them and helping to prevent fractures that can lead to premature death.

Maintaining good cardiac and lung function through exercise can prevent sudden death and lead to a more productive quality of life. Among many other benefits, exercise also has been proven to keep your brain and immune systems healthier and functioning better.

THE DISCOVERY of the fountain of youth through exercise is now being evidenced with mounting facts that exercise can reverse aging and extend longevity.

Regular Moderate Activity Best

So now that we know that lifestyle changes such as exercise plays a key role in maximizing longevity, what exercise is the best for our DNA?

The research that has shown the benefits of exercise on longevity, has generally proven that moderate exercise, enough to make you sweat for at least three hours a week, is sufficient. Therefore, an aerobic exercise routine such as biking, running, brisk walk or swimming for at least 45 minutes four times a week should do the trick.

Now, you can look at exercise as not only a way to change the outer you, but also the inner you, down to the smallest core molecule that makes up our genetic blueprint for life: DNA.

As the first days of summer near,  don’t think of only working out but imagine “working-in” on the bodies DNA to reverse aging and maximize your potential longevity.

A Florida native, Dr. Badolato received his medical degree from the University of South Florida School of Medicine and did his residency training at St. Vincents’ Medical Center in Jacksonville. Dr. Badolato is Board Certified and has fellowship training in sports Medicine with a specialization in non-operative musculaskeletal medicine. Formerly a team physicians at Ohio State University, he was also the medical director for the world-renowned IMG Bollettieri Sports Academy in Bradenton, Florida. You can reach Dr. Badolato at 321-253-2169 or log on to