FITNESS AND EXERCISE

Your genetic traits play a major role in your athletic abilities, muscle strength, endurance, and even how much you enjoy exercise. Learn how your body is predisposed to respond to various exercise regimes and your personal susceptibility to particular types of injury.

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Fitness Profile

AEROBIC PERFORMANCE

AEROBIC PERFORMANCE

Aerobic capacity or performance can be measured by the body’s ability to deliver and use the maximal volume of oxygen for producing energy that can be used by the muscles during maximal intensity exercise. The VO2 max (known as maximum aerobic power) test is the most effective measurement of aerobic fitness. Aerobic fitness is a determinant of endurance capacity during prolonged exercise, especially in certain competitive sports.

ELITE ENDURANCE ATHLETES

ELITE ENDURANCE ATHLETES

Research has shown that exercise stimulates the production and action of enzymes that function to enhance the cholesterol transport system. Regular exercise helps to increase good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. People with certain genetic variants tend to benefit greatly from exercise alone to improve cholesterol profile.

ENDURANCE

ENDURANCE

Your muscle endurance measures your ability to repeat an activity for an extended period of time without getting tired. If your muscle structure favors endurance, you have the potential to thrive in exercises that leverage your endurance. Studies have identified that genes influence the fiber type that makes up muscles, and that is linked to strength and endurance.

EXERCISE AVERSION

EXERCISE AVERSION

Your motivation for exercise is partly influenced by your genes. How your body feels during a workout and how you respond mentally can be related to genetics. Studies indicate that up to 50% of your like or dislike for exercise comes down to your genetic makeup.

HEARTBEAT REDUCTION DIFFICULTY

HEARTBEAT REDUCTION DIFFICULTY

The thickness of your hair is based on the thickness of each individual strand. When each hair is larger, your hair appears fuller and healthier. Your hair’s thickness is based on the amount of collagen surrounding it, which can often be stripped down from overwashing.

JOINT FLEXIBILITY

JOINT FLEXIBILITY

Flexibility refers to the range of movement in a joint or series of joints, and length in muscles that cross the joints to induce a bending movement or motion. Flexibility varies between individuals, while it can be improved with regular stretching, some people have inherent joint flexibility. Genetics accounts for a large part in determining our flexibility.

LEAN BODY MASS POTENTIAL

LEAN BODY MASS POTENTIAL

Lean body mass (LBM) is a part of body composition that is composed of a mass of all organs including bones, muscles, blood, skin, water, and everything else except body fat. In simple terms, it is the difference between total body weight and body fat weight. Lean body mass is a highly inheritable trait. Having this genetic information can be quite valuable.

LOW RESTING METABOLIC RATE

LOW RESTING METABOLIC RATE

Some genetic variations predispose individuals to show a lack of interest in vegetables.

Although most of the low vegetable consumption in the US is due to dietary habits, knowing one’s genetic propensity may help choose a healthier diet.

Muscle Characteristics

MUSCLE CRAMPING

MUSCLE CRAMPING

Muscle cramps are sudden, involuntary contractions in one or more of your muscles that do not relax. Muscle cramps can be caused by the overuse of a muscle, dehydration, muscle strain, or bad posture. In addition to potential risk factors such as inadequate blood supply and mineral depletion, muscle cramps are also influenced to an extent by genetics.

MUSCLE DAMAGE RISK

MUSCLE DAMAGE RISK

Muscle injury is a strain or pulled muscle, it is tearing of muscle fibers, occurs mostly when the muscle is overstretched, overused. The level of muscle damage depends on the severity and number of muscle fibers injured. Genes might have an influence on lactate accumulation, risk of muscle cramps, flexibility, and other components that might contribute to muscle damage.

MUSCLE RESPONSE TO RESISTANCE TRAINING

MUSCLE RESPONSE TO RESISTANCE TRAINING

Resistance training is an exercise that causes the muscles to contract against a force that “resists” the movement, with the expectation to increase strength, power, and endurance. Studies show that nearly all individuals benefit from resistance training but the gains in muscle size and strength are highly variable. Individuals with certain genetic variations might see enhanced benefits.

MUSCLE SORENESS

MUSCLE SORENESS

Muscle soreness is the pain, stiffness or tenderness felt in the muscles due to the physical stress caused by exercise. This side effect of exercise can be experienced immediately or several hours after (delayed onset) new or hard workouts. Although muscle soreness is common and very normal, some individuals experience very painful and longer periods of soreness. This could be influenced by your genes.

MUSCLE STRENGTH LOSS

MUSCLE STRENGTH LOSS

Muscles grow larger and stronger from the time you are born to around the time you turn 30.  But from then you start to lose muscle mass and function. But, having certain genes can put you at greater risk for muscle loss.

MUSCULAR STRENGTH

MUSCULAR STRENGTH

Muscular strength is the amount of force a muscle can exert in a single contraction. It relates to your ability to move and lift objects. The estimated proportion of muscle strength that is inherited ranges from 30% to 95% in humans. Genetic contributions to muscle strength likely differ depending on the speed and type of contraction, and the specific muscle group tested.

SKELETAL MUSCLE PERFORMANCE

SKELETAL MUSCLE PERFORMANCE

Skeletal muscles are voluntary muscles that control nearly every action a person intentionally performs. Skeletal muscles act not only to produce movement but also to stop movement. Certain genetic variants impact negatively, while some have positive improvements, thus influencing muscle performance.

SLOW MUSCLE REPAIR

SLOW MUSCLE REPAIR

Are you one of those people who take a very long time to heal after a muscle injury? Prolonged strenuous exercise, like high-intensity weight training, results in the activation of inflammatory factors. Several genes enhance the inflammatory response that may slow down the repair of muscle damage following exercise.

OVERALL FITNESS BENEFITS

OVERALL FITNESS BENEFITS

Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex, or physical ability. Regular exercise helps prevent or manage a wide range of health problems. It benefits the heart, improves mental health, and helps with weight management. Some people show quick and strong benefits, while others need more exercise and changes to their diets too. Researchers have identified genetic markers associated with several fitness traits.

Fitness Benefits

OVERALL FITNESS BENEFITS

OVERALL FITNESS BENEFITS

Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex, or physical ability. Regular exercise helps prevent or manage a wide range of health problems. It benefits the heart, improves mental health, and helps with weight management. Some people show quick and strong benefits, while others need more exercise and changes to their diets too. Researchers have identified genetic markers associated with several fitness traits.

EXERCISE BENEFITS FOR MAXIMUM OXYGEN UPTAKE RESPONSE

EXERCISE BENEFITS FOR MAXIMUM OXYGEN UPTAKE RESPONSE

VO2 max is the maximal volume of oxygen consumption during an exercise. This is important because while exercising your body needs energy i.e ATP, which is generated with the aid of oxygen. So the harder the muscles are working the more energy is needed. It is noted that people respond differently to the same exercise training program, and at least 50% of these differences are due to genetic variations.

EXERCISE BENEFITS FOR LOWERING CHOLESTEROL

EXERCISE BENEFITS FOR LOWERING CHOLESTEROL

Research has shown that exercise stimulates the production and action of enzymes that function to enhance the cholesterol transport system. Regular exercise helps to increase good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. People with certain genetic variants tend to benefit greatly from exercise alone to improve cholesterol profile.

EXERCISE BENEFITS FOR BLOOD PRESSURE

EXERCISE BENEFITS FOR BLOOD PRESSURE

Aerobic exercise is generally recommended as lifestyle therapy to prevent, treat, and control hypertension. However, studies show that some people’s blood pressure responses to exercise more than others. This variability in the individual responses can be explained by genetic variations.

HEARTBEAT REDUCTION DIFFICULTY

HEARTBEAT REDUCTION DIFFICULTY

How fast your hair grows is largely based on your genetics. While there are some things you can do to stimulate hair growth, such as keeping it healthy, the main thing that determines how fast your hair grows is your DNA.

LOWER EXERCISE BENEFITS FOR HEART PUMP FUNCTION

LOWER EXERCISE BENEFITS FOR HEART PUMP FUNCTION

Some genetic variations predispose individuals to show a lack of interest in vegetables.

Although most of the low vegetable consumption in the US is due to dietary habits, knowing one’s genetic propensity may help choose a healthier diet.

Injury Potential

OVERALL TENDON AND LIGAMENT INJURY RISK

OVERALL TENDON AND LIGAMENT INJURY RISK

Ligaments and tendons are both made up of fibrous connective tissue. Ligaments are criss-cross bands that connect bones to bones. Tendons link muscles to the bones. Both are vulnerable to overuse causing injuries and disability. Knowing your genetic risk to injuries will help in the customization of exercise recommendations and the right prevention strategies. For individuals who have risk profile genotypes, this information would be helpful.

JOINT INJURY RISK

JOINT INJURY RISK

Researchers are beginning to understand how DNA makes some athletes more likely to get hurt. Studies suggest that genetic makeup may play an important role in injury risk. Knowing about this risk is important in adjusting the duration and intensity of training sessions and holds great potential for injury prevention for athletes at every level.

ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT RUPTURE

ANTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT RUPTURE

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is the tear or sprain of one of the key ligaments in your knee which connects your thigh bone (femur) to your shinbone (tibia). ACL ruptures are considered the most severe joint injuries commonly occurring in sports that involve sudden stops and changes in direction such as basketball, soccer, tennis, and football. There are some genetic variations that are associated with a higher risk of ACL ruptures.

ACHILLES TENDINOPATHY

ACHILLES TENDINOPATHY

Achilles tendinopathy is a condition that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness of the Achilles tendon that joins your heel bone to your calf muscles. It is caused by repeated tiny injuries, overuse and is a relatively common injury affecting both athletes and non-athletes. Various genetic risk factors have been identified, some genetic variants contribute to the risk, while some have found to be protective.

STRESS FRACTURE

STRESS FRACTURE

Stress fractures are small cracks in a bone caused by repetitive movements or force. Anyone can experience a stress fracture, but some people have higher predisposition which can be associated with lower bone mineral density. Some genetic variations increase the risk of stress fracture while others have protective roles.