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Are Your Fitness Levels Down To Your DNA?

2 MIN READ • 7th August 2016

Is your fitness actually written in your genes and can it improve the way you work out?

Are you the first to burst into giggles or do you have a great poker face? Known for being a notorious spender or a solid saver? Find yourself constantly getting in a tizz or always stay cool as a cucumber? Believe it or not, all these personality traits could be down to your DNA.

Research into genetics has exploded over the past few years and now even our health and fitness regimes are being scrutinised. Taking this one step further, DNAFit offers gene reports that provide you with detailed, personalised information, from your need for certain vitamins and nutrients to which kind of exercise best suits you. We spoke to DNAFit consultant and Team GB 400m runner Andrew Steele to get the low-down on the modern way to work out:


So how does the test work?


The DNAFit tests for up to 45 gene variants scientifically linked to the body’s response to training and nutrition. While other measures change according to our recent activity, our genes are static so provide a solid base upon which to make decisions. For example, we’re able to provide information on whether you respond better to power training such as short sprints or high intensity weights, or more enduranceled activities such as longer distance running and prolonged cardio. The test helps you play to your genetic advantage; whether it’s to lose weight, exercise more efficiently, or both. DNAFit is like being given your body’s own instruction manual.


Could it create the perfect diet, too?

A There’s no such thing as a one-sizefits- all diet or nutrition programme. Some people are more sensitive to saturated fat while others have a greater sensitivity to refined carbohydrates. This is one of the reasons why some people respond well to one diet type, whereas others may not see the same result – we are all different. DNAFit provides valuable data to help create your own truly bespoke meal and exercise programme. The test also looks at other dietary sensitivities such as caffeine, gluten and lactose intolerances, and whether you may need to increase your intake of vitamins D and B, omega 3 or antioxidants more than others.


What else could we discover?


The test also reveals whether you may be at a raised risk of tendon, ligament and joint injury from training, your VO2 Max response and your body’s recovery speed between exercise sessions. This means you can tailor your training to minimise injury risk and develop a regime that is more efficient and effective for you. When we worked with 800m runner Jenny Meadows, she discovered she had a high risk of injury which was confirmed by her training history. By amending her training to minimise that risk, she has now gone on to record the fastest 800m indoor time in the last three years and qualified for the World Championships in Beijing.

So could the future really mean tailoring our lives to our DNA? The experts say there is more research to be done and of course genetics alone can’t be used as a shortcut for getting fit and healthy – but if you fancy delving into your DNA and discovering more about your body, tests can be bought online at from £99.


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