A series of experiments have revealed that just a few minutes of relatively strenuous exercise can dramatically change a person’s DNA.
The changes are not to the code of life itself, but to its ‘punctuation’. These chemicals activate, silence and crank up genes and their actions.
In the case of muscle, exercise appears to crank up the genes needed to burn fat and sugar and support the body.
Just 20 minutes pedalling flat out on an exercise bike makes a difference, the journal Cell Metabolism reports.
Researcher Juleen Zierath, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said: ‘We often say that you are what you eat.
‘Well, muscle adapts to what you do.
‘If you don’t use it, you lose it and this is one of the mechanisms that allows this to happen.’