Exercise: Diet alone will not help you maintain that body weight. While you needn’t have a grueling workout routine, about 45 minutes of cardio and strength training, five times a week is a good place to remain stable.

It is a well-known fact that exercise is vital to keep the body fit and healthy, and protect it from various illnesses like diabetes and heart diseases. But isn’t it true that often times we blame our weighty issues and poor health on our genetics? Well, a new research study proves otherwise.

According to scientists, regularly exercise can alter your genetic makeup and make your genes more active over time. Known as epigenetics, this signals a change in the way the genes operate, but has no effect on the final DNA itself.

The modifications occur in response to our lifestyle, on the outside of the gene through a process called methylation. External pollutants, certain diets, and exercise can all make a difference in the way the genes express themselves. They impact your metabolism, insulin response and control the inflammation within muscles.

The message of the study is simple: “We can induce changes that affect how we use our genes and, through that, get healthier and more functional muscles that ultimately improve our quality of life”.

Content modified from the NewYorkTimesBlog.