BETHESDA, Md. (Mar. 18, 2009) 'Adaptation to exercise' is a familiar phenomenon, even if the phrase is not: A sedentary person takes up jogging and can barely make it around the block. After jogging regularly for a few weeks, the person can jog a mile, then two, then three. With regular exercise, the body adapts, becoming fitter and more efficient. The heart can pump more blood, delivering more oxygen to the muscles. The muscles get stronger, and so on.
There are individual differences in the ability to adapt to exercise. Some sedentary individuals who take up jogging will be able to run three miles after a short training period, while others will take much longer to get to the same level. What accounts for this difference in a person's ability to adapt to exercise? One important factor is our genes.
Research into the role genes play in exercise has been gaining steam over the past few decades and is the topic of a symposium at the Experimental Biology conference in New Orleans on April 20. Mark Olfert of the University of California at San Diego and Claude Bouchard of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center have organized the symposium, the Genetics of the Adaptation to Exercise. The American Physiological Society is sponsoring the symposium.
Speakers at the symposium will include Eric Hoffman of the Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C. and Tuomo Rankinen of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Dr. Hoffman will discuss Genetics and skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise, while Dr. Rankinen will talk on Genetics and the response to exercise in human populations. The symposium will also include presentation of selected abstracts.
Focus on individual genes
So far, scientists have identified about 200 genes that play a role in the body's ability to adapt to exercise. Although the research includes the term 'exercise' this work extends well beyond athletic performance. For example, it will
|Contact: Christine Guilfoy|
American Physiological Society