Understanding How Genes Affect the Response to Exercise

Exercise Genomics Book by Linda Pescatello
Exercise Genomics Book by Linda Pescatello

Exercise Genomics book cover.

A new book on Exercise Genomics (Humana Press, 2011), co-edited by UConn researcher Linda Pescatello, provides an extensive look at research and expert opinion on genetics and genomics across a range of exercise-related traits, including exercise performance, health-related fitness, and physical activity.

The book presents articles by researchers from around the world on the past, present, and future of exercise genomics. Pescatello is a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Human Performance Laboratory at UConn’s Neag School of Education.

Understanding how genes influence our weight, muscles, risk for certain diseases, and exercise performance is critical to how best to prescribe exercise to maximize the health and fitness-related benefits of participation in physical activity and exercise programs.

“This book is important because how a person responds to an exercise intervention is determined to a considerable extent by their genes,” says Pescatello. “Understanding how genes influence our weight, muscles, risk for certain diseases, and exercise performance is critical to how best to prescribe exercise to maximize the health and fitness-related benefits of participation in physical activity and exercise programs.”

Chapters include “Can You be Born a Couch Potato?” and “Interaction Between Exercise and Genetics in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.”

Pescatello’s text is intended for clinicians, health/fitness professionals, and researchers looking to gain knowledge from new findings in the field. The book also seeks to evaluate unanswered questions regarding genomics effects on performance, metabolism, cardiovascular disease risk factors, and more. Students and professionals reading the book will acquire a broad foundation on the subject, research methods, and data.

“The ultimate goal of work in this area is ‘personalized medicine,’ which uses genetic information to tailor exercise interventions to maximize health outcomes,” says Pescatello. “However, it is a general consensus of the expert contributors to this book that, due to the significant challenges of research in this area, a personalized approach to exercise prescription is still a promise of the future rather than a reality of the present.”