How we are affected by our surroundings - and the things we do and don´t do

Tag: lifestyle diseases

Yoga and Meditation affect your genes

Yoga and meditation can affect how your genes are expressed. Together with other relaxing exercises, these activities seem to reverse some of the stress-related changes in the genes. Especially the genes linked to overall poor health and depression seem to be positively affected by these activities.

According to a new scientific review, different mind-body exercises can actually affect how your genes are expressed. In the study, British researchers focused on the biological effects of different mind-body exercises such as yoga (poses), meditation, breathing exercises, qigong and tai chi. The study is a review of 18 earlier published studies, altogether including 846 people.

According to this study the activities appear to suppress the expression of the genes that promote inflammation. Studies have shown that chronic inflammation is linked to many common diseases today – both physical and mental ones.

During the last years, more and more studies have shown that both the environment and lifestyle can affect if genes are active or inactive. This research field is is called epigenetics. According to epigenetic research you are not “doomed” to get a disease even if you have ‘the gene(s)’ for developing it. During the last years, many studies have shown that the environment and your lifestyle choices seem to be of the greatest importance if you develop a disease or not – even if you have the gene(s). This is because both the environment and the lifestyle affect if the genes are activated or not.

Even just 15 minutes of practicing mind-body exercises seem to affect the gene expression positively according to the new study.

Buric, I., Farias M., Jong J., Mee, C. Brazil I. (2017) What Is the Molecular Signature of Mind–Body Interventions? A Systematic Review of Gene Expression Changes Induced by Meditation and Related Practices. Frontiers in Immunology, 16 June 2017,

Our lifestyle affects how our genes are expressed

Just because some diseases are common in your family, it does not mean that you too automatically will suffer from them. In recent years, more and more research has shown that your lifestyle has great impact on which information that is activated in your genes. The expression of the genes has  shown to be of great importance if you develop a disease or not. This research field is known as epigenetics. Continue reading

Why an hour of exercise can’t make up for sitting still all day

Sitting still for too long can make you sick. Alongside e.g. unhealthy food, lack of exercise, smoking and stress, sitting still for too long is also considered a risk factor for lifestyle diseases.

Sitting still for to long affects the body negatively in numerous ways. You can read more about these negative effects here. Earlier, the opinion was that exercise could make up for sitting a lot during the rest of the day. Research however, show that this not seem to be the case.

The reason for this is that sitting still and lack of exercise is two different variables for health – and both of them have been proven to increase the risk of several common diseases. So even if you otherwise are physically active, sitting down for long periods of time affects your health negatively. According to the research, it is very important not to mix up these two variables – as often has been done in the past. This is relatively new information and means that some exercise during the evening does not compensate for a long day of sitting down.

This however certainly does not mean that you should stop exercising, but in addition to your exercise try not to sit still for too long. Even short periods of movements have proven a positive effect for the overall health.



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