How Long-Term Endurance Exercise Impacts Your Genes: “Cell: Skeletal Muscle Transcriptomic Comparison between Long-Term Trained and Untrained Men and Women”
Cell: Skeletal Muscle Transcriptomic Comparison between Long-Term Trained and Untrained Men and Women
Physical exercise specifically alters skeletal muscle in an exercise-modality-dependent manner. Mitochondrial content, capillary density, and various metabolic substrate transporters are all increased with endurance training. With regards to strength training, muscle hypertrophy is the most prominent change.
Tissue alterations common to both exercise modalities are improved insulin sensitivity, increased muscle glycogen, and a shift in skeletal muscle fiber type composition (Lieber, 2010). These adaptations can largely be attributed to changes in gene activity and post-translational protein modifications in response to repeated exercise bouts (Chapman and Sundberg, 2019).
In addition to these changes in skeletal muscle, regular physical activity has numerous specific health benefits. These include improved well-being, increased quality of life, lengthened lifespan, enhanced cognitive function, and the prevention and treatment of various diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, sarcopenia, osteoporosis, and cancer (Neufer et al., 2015, Mijwel et al., 2018).
Although the benefits of physical activity are well documented, the mechanisms behind how physical activity promotes health and prevents disease are less understood. Given this lack of mechanistic knowledge, grant support for research in the area of physical activity has recently been prioritized (Neufer et al., 2015). Understanding the mechanisms of action behind the massively beneficial effects of physical activity can bring us closer to developing therapies for individuals for whom regular physical activity is not possible, such as in patients with cachexia, paralysis, severe joint pain, or in the morbidly obese.
...Although understanding acute adaptation to exercise is interesting and useful, it is important to emphasize that regular exercise performed over decades is what profoundly promotes health and prevents disease. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate skeletal muscle transcriptomics in long-term endurance-trained and long-term strength-trained humans compared with healthy controls to understand how skeletal muscle adapts to lifelong training.
... following short-term (6–12 months) exercise training programs, individuals with impaired metabolism shifted their gene expression to become more transcriptionally similar to our long-term endurance trained groups....
In summary, our data provide an extensive examination of the accumulated transcriptional changes that occur with decades-long endurance and resistance training in humans. Of note, we observed that endurance training in both women and men drastically alters the transcriptome. These transcriptional changes with endurance training exceed the differences found between MCs and FCs as well as in strength-trained versus untrained men. Furthermore, these data provide evidence that skeletal muscle gene expression differences between men and women at baseline decrease following extensive endurance training. Additionally, only a few genes were differentially regulated between strength-trained athletes and controls. Thus, we hypothesize that the accumulated changes associated with resistance training are primarily relegated to protein levels instead of alterations in the resting baseline transcriptome. Finally, a comparative analysis revealed that following endurance-training programs of 6–12 months, individuals with impaired metabolism shifted their gene expression to become more transcriptionally similar to our long-term endurance-trained groups.
WIND: allopathic medicine doctors: what are YOU doing to cajole your patients into improving their lives via exercise? This applies to internists, pulmonologists, allergists, cardiologists and many more fields of medicine. If you are not prioritizing exercise and developing strategies for success for your patients, including followup and support, then you are failing at the core goal of your profession. Yeah it’s damn hard today fo sure, and no I don’t care how much you are paid—it’s on you to take the Hippocratic oath seriously—you know what you signed up for when you chose medicine and a little creativity and effort goes a loooooong way. Do it right, or get the hell out of the profession.
Anyone unwilling to eat properly and get at least some regular exercise hurts all of society. The lack of personal responsibility in this area and so many others dominates society today, undermining and destabilizing the structure of modern life.
Everyone gets what they deserve in life*—couch potatoes get no sympathy from me as it costs me money directly (extra high insurance rates) along with massive negative societal impacts. As for parents with children—it is nothing short of child abuse to fail to insist that a child exercise every day at least half an hour.
* For those who take everything literally, I’m obviously not talking about the uncontrollable factors in life!