Starting out on a new fitness regimen can seem like taking a shot in the dark.
What type of exercises would you have to do to get abs like Chris Evans in Captain America?
Is a personal trainer, lifting weights and hot yoga all that is needed? One thing you know for sure is that not everyone in your exercise group will show the same results.
There is an underlying factor that has an impact on the type of exercise that would better suit you.
A UK biobank study conducted on 95,105 participants has shown that the time spent sitting, sleeping or even moving is determined in part by our genes.
How active are you? How long do you really need to sleep? How will being lazy affect your health? Find out more about your exercise genes
Physical inactivity and obesity- Another chicken and egg story!
According to WHO, 1 in 4 adults is not active enough and 80% of adolescents are insufficiently physically active, costing 50 billion $ in healthcare costs every year.
Physical inactivity is one of the leading cause of death and can lead to conditions like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
A common conundrum for scientists has been whether physical inactivity leads to obesity or whether obesity causes physical inactivity.
An understanding of genetic variants and their influence on physical inactivity will help in determining the relationship with obesity and can be used to identify preventive measures.
In the UK Biobank study, the participants were made to wear activity trackers for 7 days.
To identify the type of activity they were involved in, 200 volunteers wore a special camera that took images every 20 seconds. Their saliva sample was used to carry out a genetic analysis.
The study found that 18% of the variation in physical activity and sleep duration may be due to genetic variants.
Exercise your way to better heart health
There have been numerous studies that have reported a reduction in blood pressure on increased physical activity.
However, this study has shown a causal relationship between genetic variants, increased physical activity, and lower blood pressure, and subsequently lower the risk of hypertension.
How can a DNA test be used to help design a personalized fitness regimen
Derive the motivation to exercise- use it to lose it!
Sometimes a little extra nudge is needed for some people to start exercising!
Would that be an increased risk of physical inactivity, lower motivation to exercise or even an increased risk for obesity?
After all, it is innate in humans to push harder when you know something may go wrong if you don’t.
You use it to lose it!
Find the right type of exercise
Individuals vary in their response to exercise, their risk for injury, exercise recovery duration and even risk of fatigue.
Such information is important while designing a fitness regimen.
As this UK Biobank study found, there is a causal relationship between genetic variants and blood pressure.
Better physical activity could help improve blood pressure levels.
Scientific studies have also shown an association with genetic variants and HDL cholesterol levels, insulin sensitivity and weight loss.
Apart from working hard at the gym, it is also important to eat right and get the right nutrition for better health and fitness.
The influence of genetic variants is just one part of the puzzle, other factors include actually getting out and working out!
Health and fitness magazines can provide a lot of generic advice on staying fit but a fitness genetic report can reveal several aspects that people are generally unaware.
Xcode Life’s Fitness report provides information on power and endurance capacity, tendon and ligament strength, injury risk, exercise recovery and more than 20 such traits.