So many of us spend hours at the gym or doing HIIT workouts at home. Yet sometimes, despite our best efforts, often the results don’t match the blood, sweat and tears we put into our burpees.
And while some of this may come down to that entire chocolate cake we ate last night, could it be that our bodies just aren’t designed for certain types of exercise?
Determining how your body works
One of the most visible ways of seeing how your genetics influence your body’s strengths is by looking at its shape. Some people are born naturally slim and struggle to build muscle, while other people seem to bulk up as soon as they step into a gym.
Your DNA could be having a direct impact on how your body deals with muscle building, speed and agility, and muscle recovery. There are certain genes that determine how your muscles function, your blood circulation, oxygen levels, and inflammation levels. These all play a part in determining whether or not your body is well equipped for intensive weightlifting sessions or long-distance running. Let's take a look at just some of the things your genetics can tell you ...
- Endurance levels
If you're someone who struggles to do long duration exercise, this may be because your genes are not effectively producing the enzymes and proteins you need to maintain this endurance. Maybe you're better suited to shorter bouts of exercises. Perhaps you should try out some HIIT workouts for a quick burst of cardio. Having this trait doesn’t mean you can’t ever be good at endurance exercise, just that you may have to build up your endurance training with some shorter, more progressive workouts.
- Cardio or strength
Weights or running on the treadmill? How you perform at either cardio or strength training is down to your unique genetic makeup. But by doing exercises that you naturally perform highly in, you’re far more likely to achieve your goals long term.
- Risk of injury
Certain genes can be associated with a higher risk of injury and joint injuries specifically. If you do have those genes, you may be better off doing lower impact exercises like swimming, instead of higher impact ones. It's also worth knowing about your risk of injury so you can take the right precautions.
- Muscle function
Some people have an affinity for endurance due to high muscle efficiency with improved blood vessel growth. These same traits also influence how your body deals with inflammation caused by exercise. Helping you avoid unnecessary pain post-workout. Others might not have this attribute and therefore are less primed for aerobic training.
- Fat loss from different exercises
Trying to lose weight? If you're struggling to shift the pounds, it might be down to your genes and which exercise you're doing. DNA can influence what type of exercise will affect your body fat percentage and BMI the most.
Test yourself: take a DNA fitness test
By taking a DNA test and understanding your genetic makeup, you can have a better understanding of the types of exercise that work best for your body. By learning that you are designed for short, power exercises such as sprints or HIIT workouts as opposed to hours of cardio, you’ll will be able to make informed decisions about the exercises you do, to get the best results possible.
If you're currently struggling to lose weight, build muscles or increase your endurance, you may find that your DNA will reveal what lifestyle changes you can make to help you reach your fat loss goals. But while exercise is good for you in so many ways, when it comes to weight loss, exercise is only going to make a difference alongside dietary change. At Evergreen we recommend a rounded approach to weight loss from exercise to diet to sleep. Why not explore our health and wellbeing library where you can find out lots of helpful advice?