Fathers who exercise may also improve the genetics of their children, study suggests

christian bizzotto
Image: Christian Bizzotto

A positive perception of regular exercise may be one of the more lasting gifts a parent can give their children. But there’s good news for those of us who don’t embrace the idea of working out, too. A study released [March 29] shows that if a parent spends their life regularly exercising, those genes are passed onto their children.

José Luis Trejo, Ph.D., a cell biologist at the Cajal Institute in Madrid, explains in his study that a new wave of research is investigating how lifestyle choices — both good and bad — can cause tiny genetic changes that end up getting passed on through generations.

Related article:  Marathon gene? Ancient CMAH mutation may have made us better runners

The study, published in in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was performed on mice and focuses on exercise as its “lifestyle choice.”

Trejo’s research shows that fathers who worked out tended to pass on exercise-related benefits, like certain patterns of gene expression in the brain, on to their offspring. Those patterns, Trejo tells Inverse, led to improved performance on learning and memory tasks in mouse offspring who had athletic fathers.

Read full, original post: Exercise Creates Tiny Genetic Changes in the Brain That Are Passed From Father to Son

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