Take Your Genes Seriously

by Surela Chakraborty | 04 OCT 2017

 Image used for representational purpose only

Why do some people keep procrastinating their fitness routine while others find it difficult to stay away from their treadmill? A recent study states that it is all in your genes, whether you are active or not. 


We all go through a phase of intense exercise and extreme laziness since our motivation levels keep varying from time to time. But there are some who always choose to be laid back and procrastinate when they should actually be doing some serious ab-crunches. 


Who do you blame for such laziness, yourself or your genes?


Based on the studies by J. Timothy Lightfoot, a kinesiologist and his team at the University of North Carolina suggest that genetics does make you a lazybone. Lightfoot was intrigued by the fact that why people didn't exercise even knowing the fact physical activity is good for health. 


He along with his team have successfully identified the genes that affect activity levels and how they work in tandem. The research team found genomes that are associated with regulation of physical activity. 


There are two theories put forward to show how these genes actually work in the body -


 Genes either influence the way muscle work by allowing it to use energy properly thus preventing fatigue.

 Genes affect the biochemical circuit in the brain such as levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin that influence human behavior and activity.


The team hopes that the research will help find a way in genetically treating couch potatoes to start exercising. A system of rewards and punishments can influence them to exercise and stay fit.


Dr.B.Chandra Sekhar, Director of Shoulder surgery and Sports surgery at Sunshine hospitals points out, “It is known fact that men tend to outperform women in sports and exercise. It is also a known fact that men tend to have more muscle bulk and endurance. Testosterone is found to be the factor underlying this difference. The male genetic code with XY chromosome is responsible for the high testosterone production in men. Doping with testosterone and other anabolic-androgen steroids is a well-known fact to enhance performance in sports both involving male and female (though less commonly) athletes. Other hormones like growth hormone and erythropoietin also have effects on bone growth, muscle mass and exercise endurance and athletic performance. And these hormone production in turn depends on genes. So it can be said that genes are partly responsible for our fitness levels. Of course other factors like nutrition, athletic training also play a role. There is some discussion about genetic doping and where there is a possibility to introduce certain genes into the body which in turn can influence physical and hormonal characteristics of a sports person to enhance his performance. With the recent advances in genetics, this scenario seems plausible in the near future.”

You may be working very hard at the bench press but not seeing much results may be there are genes to blame for this. Your DNA also influences aerobic fitness and muscle power. Stephen oth, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Maryland said, " The gist is we draw something different in the genetic lottery, but we can always improve on what we’ve got. Heritability is a rough estimate of a person's athletic trait." 


The genes such as: 


 ACE can be linked to aerobic fitness in endurance athletes 


 ACTN3 is associated with muscular strength and sprinting, 


If aerobic fitness is studied in sedentary people the difference in their performance can be attributed to DNA but in athletes the difference between the more and the least fit athlete is based on their practice. 


One shouldn' t be actually worried about the genetic traits instead they should exercise seriously, change their diet and motivate themselves to work harder on their body. 


Even if your genes slow you down never give up. You are not in a race to prove yourself, just relax and enjoy your daily exercise routine.

 Disclaimer: Welthi.com does not guarantee any specific results as a result of the procedures mentioned here, and the results may vary from person to person. Read more

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