Is it genetics? Or is it your physical activity levels? That is the question I hear the most when it comes to a client’s body composition. Body composition is one part of the overall equation to being in tip top shape (the other four being muscle strength, muscle endurance, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility). Your body composition is more important to your overall health then your body weight alone. We’ll do a few metrics to determine the overall body composition story: circumference measurements, body fat percentage, body weight and the way clothes fit. The last one of these is the most important to a client’s mental and emotional state. So which is it? Are you doomed from the day you were born by picking the wrong parents and being stuck with your genetics? Or are you a victim of a poorly planned exercise program and lack of consistency?
Recent research has found that physical activity modifies genetic susceptibility to obesity. Yes, you read that correctly. The more physically active you are, the less susceptible you are to becoming overweight and obese regardless of your genetic make up. Researchers looked at 8,200 women and found that there was a significant effect of being physically active with the most significant effect in women aged 70 years and older. (1)
These findings additionally support guidelines for promoting and maintaining healthy behaviors, especially in older adults, to maximize quality and longevity of life. “We are born with our genes, but this study suggests that we can improve our lives and health with exercise, regardless of genetics,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director.
The benefits are far reaching and include:
- Reduce the risk of depression and chronic pain
- Reduce your risk of glaucoma
- Improve sleep quality
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Reduce the risk of developing cancer
- Improve mood state and enjoyment
- Naturally increase testosterone levels
In short, a properly exercise program performed correctly may help with every aspect of your life!
- The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). (2018, May 16). Exercise beats genetics in determining amount of body fat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 22, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180516102300.htm