Imagine being able to use the way you exercise to make yourself smarter. This is not in the realm of science fiction either. Recent studies have shown how this works. Most people probably know that when you exercise and lose weight that you’ll have better blood flow to the brain. Heck, you’ll even help slow down or stop the build-up of arterial plaque leading to the brain.

I’m not talking about that aspect of getting smarter by exercising. What I’m talking about is something less known and very important. We’ve heard how exercise can stave off the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementias. Even if one is genetically predisposed to getting it, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. We are not our genes. Let me explain.

Every human has approximately 23,000 genes within their chromosomes. Back in the 1960s, scientists had assumed that humans would have approximately 2,000,000 genes to help explain all the variables contained within us. Instead, we have about the same amount of genes as a nematode. What if it’s not the individual genes that create that? Well, there is another explanation.

Gene Expression

Picture a grand piano. If you were to open the top of it, wires of different lengths would be exposed. Each one of the wires produces a different tone. That happens when they are struck by a hammer that is activated by keys on the piano keyboard. There are 88 keys on the keyboard. The upper end grand pianos (like a Steinway) have a very rich tone.

Now, what if someone with no ear for music and had never even played a piano before, started to bang on it? What would it sound like? It’ll probably be pretty bad and raspy, right? On the other hand, what if a top master that has played at Carnegie Hall started to play a beautiful concerto, such as Rachmaninov Piano Concerto #2? It would be the most beautiful expression of music you can ever imagine, wouldn’t it?

Our genes are expressed in a similar fashion. Think of the genes we have as the wires on the grand piano. By themselves, they are just that. It’s not until the wires are struck by the hammer that anything happens. The keys activate the hammer which strikes the wires, and then creates a tone. On the outside of our genome is what is known as the epigenome. They are like the keys on the piano keyboard.

Epigenome literally means outside of or over. Since scientists had previously thought we’d have more genes than what was discovered, then there had to be another explanation as to why there are so many variables. Just like the piano that has 88 keys and yet can produce a variety of different sounds and types of music, so can the genome be expressed to produce a variety of different variables.

Outside sources can tell certain genes to turn off or on, just like a light switch. If done in sequence of on and off, certain gene expressions will be realized. Some of those include how each cell is made. That includes skin cells, muscle cells, bone cells, and so forth… Also, certain diseases are caused by the bad expression of genes via epigenetics. That includes heart disease and cancers. To be continued in Part 2…

Author's Bio: 

Living an optimal life requires a life that is healthy and fit. Knowing what you need to do in order for that to happen is important. And taking action towards getting healthy and fit is the most important key. Finding the right knowledge and experts in their fields can go a long way to accomplishing that. That's as long as you take action on what you learn. People who are successful are always action-oriented. They will simply put into the action the right knowledge for them. That includes getting healthy and fit. Once you are there, then will you start to truly live a life that is optimal. For more information and to subscribe to the newsletter, go to

Bob Choat is a peak performance coach, professional speaker and co-owner of Optimal Life Seminars along with Dr. Lori Shemek, Ph.D. You can find him at