Just 10 minutes of exercise alters 9,815 molecules in your body

We all know that regular exercise is an important pillar of good health. It helps keep your heart, blood sugar and metabolism in check.

But even though we know these things, it doesn’t make it any easier to commit to a regular exercise routine, especially if you rely on outward signs to show that it’s actually doing anything for you.

Now, thanks to ground-breaking research in a relatively new field of science, you can get a glimpse of the thousands of changes that could occur in your body in as little as 10 minutes of exercise…

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“Omics” science lets us in on what’s happening in the body

The evidence in favor of exercise could probably fill up a football stadium… or 10. In fact, countless studies have shown exercise has the power to influence the health of every organ in your body, how they work and even the expression of your immune system and genes.

However, it’s only been recently that scientists have been able to delve into what’s really occurring on a molecular level. And it’s all because of new techniques that allow them to count, type (identify) and quantify the thousands upon thousands of different molecules within our bodies.

This research is called “omics” science, and it involves many individual areas of study that can be recognized as part and parcel to it by their endings. For example, genomics looks at the molecules that go into gene expression while metabolomics focuses on molecules in your blood that affect your metabolism. Those could include hormones that either signal hunger to send you running for the refrigerator or satiety to tell you to stop eating, or even enzymes that are excreted by microbes in your gut.

Other “omics” areas of study include lipidomics which looks at fat-related molecules and even proteomics which analyzes proteins.

Yet until now, in “omics” studies of exercise, these have had an individual focus. So while scientists might have been able to say that certain proteins went up during exercise, they never had a full picture of just what happens to all of the molecules in your body when you get physical.

That’s all changed thanks to research out of Stanford University…

A symphony of molecular changes

The researchers chose participants from a full range of fitness, age and metabolic health levels. Some participants could run marathons while others may have identified as “couch potatoes.” Others may have had perfect blood sugar while others were fighting the insulin resistance that can lead to type diabetes.

They then drew blood from each volunteer and had them perform a treadmill test where they faced increasing levels of exercise to exhaustion — but just within nine to 10 minutes of total exercise. The researchers again drew blood at 15, 30 and 60 minutes post-exercise and did a full “omic” panel looking for molecular changes.

Altogether, the team measured the levels of 17,662 different molecules and what they found was exciting…

More than half of those molecules — a whopping 9,815 — changed after exercise, including ones that influence immunity, metabolism, appetite and even tissue repair.

While some rose, others declined. And while some skyrocketed immediately and then dropped, others remained either high or low for the full hour after exercise.

One molecule specifically involved in inflammation rose quickly during the early stages after exercise but then fell while others that show promise in fighting inflammation rose in its place.

“It was like a symphony,” said Michael Snyder, the chair of the genetics department at Stanford University and senior author of the study. “First you have the brass section coming in, then the strings, then all the sections joining in.”

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Fitness matters to your health

The researchers also discovered that all of those molecular changes varied from person to person with current fitness and health issues making a big difference.

For example, in people with established insulin resistance, molecules that combat blood sugar issues rose less steeply while inflammatory molecules tended to be higher.

Yet, overall, the researchers were amazed at the level of changes seen after just nine to 10 minutes of exercise.

Clearly, the benefits of exercise may be even more extensive than we ever knew. So, the best advice? Get out there and get physical to experience this symphony of molecular changes exercise can deliver.

As Dr. Snyder says, “It’s beautiful music, and it’s yours.”

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  1. A Single Session of Exercise Alters 9,815 Molecules in Our Blood — HotNews.com
  2. A Single Session of Exercise Alters 9,815 Molecules in Our Blood — The New York Times
Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.