The short answer is a resounding, “Yes.” According to recent research, your genetic makeup has a direct impact on areas of your health that correlate to what types of exercise you are most likely to enjoy and excel in. A lot of it comes down to body composition. Do you have a lot of fast-twitch muscle fibers, or are your muscles heavier in slow-twitch muscle fibers? Do you have the genes for good cardiovascular health, or are you predisposed to high blood pressure and low endurance? One of the primary ways your DNA affects your chosen routine is by creating a natural affinity for endurance or strength training programs. As it turns out, peak oxygen uptake has a heritability of about 50% — if your forebears had high aerobic endurance, you probably do, too. The heritability of muscular strength varies more, from about 30-80% depending on the muscles in question. Beyond that, genetics also control proteins in fast-twist muscle fibers. One gene in particular, a variant of ACTN3, appears with high frequency in sprinters.
Genes control more than just your particular discipline — they also impact factors like recovery time, muscle fatigue, and even how well you respond to exercise. One study in particular examined a group of men and found that, while all of their peak oxygen uptakes increased overall, those subjects with a particular gene variant improved the least.
It can be hard to choose a good fitness program, doubly so if you aren’t armed with information about what training routine will be the most effective for you. Contact Carmen today to find out how to get your DNA profile and start building your best possible path to wellness.