Everything we do in life counts towards how are genes are being expressed. If we don’t take care of ourselves, then they will be expressed negatively. If we do certain things that are good for us, then the outcome will be better on a genetic level. BTW, how your genes are expressed can be passed through the generations. This is particularly true when it’s the mother passing it down. Somehow the maternal link is a key.

So, in gene expression, everything counts. Environmental toxins, what we eat, how we feel and even our beliefs all have a part in this. Let’s take a look at exercise and how it can help you to express a certain gene known as the brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF).

This particular gene is responsible for cognitive enhancement as well as neuroplasticity. What it does when activated is to focus on a particular part of the brain responsible for memory and for producing new neurons (neurogenesis). This area is the hippocampus. Previously, scientists had presumed that the brain could not grow any new brain cells. We now know that this premise was wrong.
With certain factors, the brain can continue to grow throughout one’s life. The BDNF gene is also responsible for reducing depression. In fact, it’s been found that people who suffer from depression and there’s a family history of it going through generations, it’s usually because of this gene being turned off. Once the BDNF gene is turned on, serotonin (the feel-good hormone) is released at higher levels.

So what causes this special gene to be activated?

What was discovered by scientists and doctors at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) was that exercise and in particular, high intensity exercise caused the activation of this gene (the study was published early in 2011 in the European Journal of Neuroscience). It’s interesting that high intensity exercises are also responsible for faster burning of fat as well. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is excellent for engaging the BDNF gene leading to its activation. That includes circuit training.

Inactivity causes the suppression of this gene and therefore leading to increases of depression and reduced cognitive abilities. Even mental disorders may be related to this as well as mental degeneration. Exercise is important in all areas of life to be able to live it optimally. Otherwise, one will simply start to have a rapid decline.

Not only will exercising increase muscle size and tone with certain types of workouts, it will also increase neuroplasticity and overall brain function. As science looks more into how exercise can be a prescription to decreasing and even eliminating dementias, they are also looking into how it helps students and all of learn and function cognitively throughout life.

My recommendations to you

What I recommend that you do is to find a trainer that can help you in getting fit through high intensity training. They will make sure that you will get there through progressive trainings. If you are out of shape, then you’ll need to start at a lower level and then work your way up. Eventually you’ll get to the point where you are doing high intensity training, such as HIIT and circuits on a regular basis. Add resistance training and you’re doing great. BTW, high intensity training also releases beta-endorphins, which are 20 times more powerful than morphine. Have fun training, getting fit and getting smarter too.

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 http://optimallifeseminars.com

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 http://bobchoat.com