Genetics and exercise: Can we improve health from the inside out?


We rarely get to see the inner workings of our own bodies. To unravel the mysteries of what’s happening inside, exercise physiology scientists in the Department of Health and Kinesiology are exploring the connections between genetics, exercise and health to help promote healthy lifestyles, from the inside out.

In separate studies, researchers John Lawler, Michael Massett and Christopher Woodman are identifying the genes that influence how people respond to exercise training, examining blood vessel function and investigating cardiovascular disease at the cellular level.

“One thing we’ve focused on in the last 30 to 40 years in the area of exercise, and particularly with aging, is the notion that people are really suited to being active throughout their entire life span.” said John Lawler, professor and director of the Redox Biology and Cell Signaling Lab. “We have the genes of hunter-gatherers, and that really hasn’t changed much in 40-100,000 thousand years. So, it means that nearly every day, we should be active.”

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