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Your Double Helix

Not everyone will admit this, but there's something magical about exercise. Your brain produces endorphins in response to vigorous exercise and you feel energized, alert, and alive. You derive tremendous satisfaction from doing something you said you'd do. You feel good about yourself all day long. Beyond these benefits related to personal fulfillment, regular vigorous exercise builds strong muscles and bones and strengthens your cardiopulmonary system. Your heart and lungs become substantially more efficient. Your heart pumps more blood with every beat and your lungs take in more air with every breath. Your entire physiology, that is, every one of your cells, tissues, and organs, benefits from a consistent program of regular exercise.

Yet, remarkably, there's more. Medical researchers and public health policy makers have long known that regular vigorous exercise helps improve the health of people with diabetes, heart disease, many types of arthritis, and even cancer. But more recently, within the last couple of years, scientists have been finding that exercise causes lasting changes in the configuration and functioning of human genes.

As we all know, our genetic inheritance is encoded in complex, tightly wound strands of DNA. Our genetic code comprises only four nucleotides - adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine - biochemical structures whose precise sequence contains all the information required to produce a living human being. (Some fun facts: There are approximately 3 billion "base pairs" of DNA in a human cell. A single uncoiled strand of DNA is approximately 3 feet (1 meter) in length. In contrast, human cells average 25 millionths of a meter in diameter.). Up until 10 or so years ago, it was generally accepted that genes (specific sequences of base pairs) controlled all protein formation and all physiologic functioning. But within the last 10 years, numerous discoveries have demonstrated a variety of additional factors that contribute to individual genetic expression. One such mechanism involves "epigenetics", the process of "tagging" genes with small "side groups" or "markers". The attachment of a methyl side group (—CH3), an action known as methylation, modifies a gene's expression, boosting its output or turning it off completely. Researchers have now consistently demonstrated that regular exercise influences and even reprograms the epigenetic pattern of methylation.1,2

One study has demonstrated that exercise-associated methylation patterns impact genes associated with energy metabolism and insulin response in muscles.3 These findings, if reproduced by follow-up studies, would go far toward clarifying the role of exercise in relieving the symptoms of many chronic diseases.

The conclusion is that not only does exercise make you look good and feel good, it also exerts a profound effect on the most basic components of human physiology. Our long-ago high school gym teachers who exhorted us in seemingly endless rounds of sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, and squat thrusts knew what they were doing. It's up to us to continue the program.

1Denham J, et al: Exercise: putting action into our epigenome. Sports Med 44(2):189-209, 2014
2Ronn T, et al: A six months exercise intervention influences the genome-wide DNA methylation pattern in human adipose tissue. PLoS Genetics 2013 Jun;9(6):e1003572. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003572
3Lindholm ME, et al: An integrative analysis reveals coordinated reprogramming of the epigenome and the transcriptome in human skeletal muscle after training. Epigenetics 2014 Dec 7:0. [Epub ahead of print]

Multicare Health Clinic

3930 STADIUM DR
SIOUX CITY, IA 51106
Phone Number: (712) 276-4325

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Monday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-2:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

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Testimonials

  • "I'm a runner. When I wasn't able to run due to leg problems, I was devastated. But a consultation at Multicare Health Clinic identified the problem and after some adjustments, stimulation treatments and therapy, I'm running again!"
    Lisa L.
  • "There couldn't be a better physical therapy team in Siouxland! Not only did my knee feel so much better after six weeks, but I feel like I made new friends."
    Karla K.
  • "After my knee surgery I was asked where I wanted to do my physical therapy, I chose Multicare Health Clinic and I'm so glad I did! Dr. Steve and the therapy assistants (Sara and Megan) are fabulous! They know what they're doing and they all really seemed to care about my recovery. I'm feeling fantastic! I'll definitely go back again whenever I need therapy or adjustments."
    Sheri J.
  • "I wasn't able to use my hand the way I should. After working with Dr. Sneller and the physical therapy team, I can use my hand again."
    Henry H.
  • "At night my right hand would go painfully numb at least 2-3 times where I could not sleep. Now, I don't have that pain and can get a full night sleep."
    Janet D.
  • "I leave here feeling confident that I have the resources to manage my pain and live normally, and that's priceless."
    Alycen V.
  • "My shoulder and neck feel so much better. I now have the knowledge, motivation, desire and tools to keep up the exercises."
    Barb B.
  • "I now can go a full week without pain and headaches."
    Luke W.
  • "My company encouraged all of us employees to get screened at Multicare. I didn't know what to expect. It was easy and I learned so much. The orthotics they prescribed really help me to feel more stable and confident at work."
    Jim J.
  • "Dr. Sneller helped. I haven't been feeling dizzy anymore."
    Belinda B
  • "Being able to present my back pain to three different professions in one place and knowing that they are working together to make me better is very comforting."
    Charlie P.
  • "I'm so glad my sister referred me to Multicare! My elbow hasn't felt this good in a long time. Thanks to the great physical therapy team there."
    Ellen E.
  • "I'm now a believer now! I didn't think chiropractic could help my foot problems. But after meeting with Dr. Pistello and Dr. Dave for a few weeks, I'm feeling so much better!"
    Gino G.
  • "Not only is my pain level down to zero, but what I'm really thrilled with, is that I have normal feeling in my hands."
    Jill L.
  • "I wasn't able to use my hand the way I should. After working with Dr. Sneller and the physical therapy team, I can use my hand again."
    Ivy I.
  • "After an accident at work I didn't think I'd ever get relief from my aching shoulder. But, the doctors at Multicare gave me adjustments and physical therapy and now I feel normal again."
    Cliff C.
  • "After my consultatin with the doctors at Multicare Health Clinic, I understand how to address my balance issues."
    Anna A.