I recently came across this short & concise video about how genes become flesh and blood. The genes we have “turned-on” by our environment (diet & activity levels mostly) produce little strings of RNA “instructions”, the yellow snake-like molecule at the beginning of the video. We have good evidence showing regular-exercise & better-diet changes turn off “bad” genes and turn on “good” genes. This is how that change results in a healthier body:
Every little “dot” in the video is an atom. The whole process seems so mechanical. It runs much faster in real life, all driven by charge differentials; the repulsive and attractive charges of molecules that interact with each other as they change over time. This is why I can’t get enough of this stuff; persistent wonderment.
This is also one reason I do weight training. Squatting double bodyweight a couple times a week delivers a profound stimulus to my body to turn on as many “good” and turn off as many ” bad” genes as possible. Any activity you do is going to provide this “make health tissue” message to some extent. But my program of progressively-overloaded weight-training takes me a couple hours a week. I would not be surprised if it would take me 5-10x more time to produce the same stimulus swimming, jogging, or cycling. As soon as the paths are clear of snow I’ll be back on my bike. If you love running, then run. But if I make to an elderly age I want to be able to get out of a chair. Squatting, bench-pressing, & deadlifting heavy weight today is the best way to ensure I have enough lean body & bone mass to remain independent and active if I’m lucky enough to grow old.
Oh, and ladies; please try a couple dozen heavy lifting workouts of the Starting Strength program. Even if you start with just the squat, bench-press, and deadlift (chin-ups would be good too) a couple times a week using the SS weight calculators. Get a few hours of a good trainer at the beginning if you’re concerned about your form (you should be very concerned). Do not worry for one second that weightlifting will make you “bulky”; it just won’t. Magazine-cover bodies are not real. The average guy is lucky if he can add 20 pounds of muscle training hard for decades without pharmaceutical help. Train like a man, eat like a man, and you will look like a goddess.
I promise you.