How understanding your DNA can best help your health and keep you fit as we face the unprecedented test in the global Covid-19 healthcare catastrophe?
With a large proportion of adults across the world overweight or obese, taking care of your health has never been more important. Lifestyle choices have a huge impact on overall health and can affect weight, energy levels, sleep quality, mood, concentration, and focus. Looking after yourself is vital for both your immediate and long-term wellbeing, but to do this effectively, you need to have a complete picture of your health as you bid to overcome the Covid-19 scare.
Watch: Sequencing the genome of Covid-19
If you’ve ever noticed that maintaining a healthy weight seems less challenging for some than others, you may have already realized that DNA also plays an integral part in health. Many different factors influence a person’s wellbeing, and understanding these is key to better health.
Lifestyle and beyond
While the majority of us value our health and appreciate its importance, we aren’t able to control every element of it, as visible with the susceptibility to unknown infections like the novel coronavirus. Leading a healthy lifestyle is crucial to good wellbeing. But when it comes to our health, there’s information many don’t have access to. Understanding this has become more crucial than ever.
We can all usually identify how we feel day-to-day and may have a good level of knowledge of the diet and lifestyle factors that influence our wellbeing. However, our DNA holds some vital insights into our health we can’t find elsewhere. The best DNA tests allow you to unlock key information to help you better manage your weight and fitness levels, and improve your overall wellbeing.
How DNA influences your health
Various factors impact a person’s physical health, including their age, dietary habits, weight, and typical sleep patterns.
While lifestyle factors undoubtedly matter, your own individual genetic makeup can play a huge role in your health. Your DNA can heighten your risk of some diseases, and it can also affect the success of your fitness and exercise regimens.
Watch: What is DNA and how does it work?
Genetic makeup is why some nutrition plans may offer amazing results for a friend, but do nothing for you, as your bodies respond differently to the same diet. Your DNA is also why your favorite workout method may bring you multiple benefits and raise your fitness levels, but doesn’t work well at all for someone else.
This is thought to be linked to your type of muscle fiber, leading to two people of seemingly similar fitness levels having differing results from the same type and amount of training and exercise.
Your DNA can:
- Affect how you store and burn fats and carbohydrates from your diet.
- Cause sensitivities to certain types of foods or ingredients.
- Influence the success of one type of training or exercise over another.
How can a DNA test help improve your health?
Finding out key information about your own genetic makeup can stop you from wasting time on faddy diets or ineffective fitness regimens. The best DNA tests will provide you with important information about your DNA type, which you can use to plan a successful diet and workout routine.
Once you have this important personalized information, you’ll have a much clearer picture of your health and can better understand:
- The workout methods that can optimize your fitness levels.
- The nutrition plans that benefit your body.
- Food or ingredients that may cause you discomfort or pain.
These insights can be used to help shape your future diet and exercise plan so that the wellbeing steps taken are as effective as they possibly can be. Coupled with healthy lifestyle choices, using insights gained from your DNA can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight and enjoy sustainable wellbeing improvements.
What to look for in a DNA testing kit
There are a lot of kits on the market, but it’s important to find the best DNA test for you. Having your DNA tested is simple and easy, with a range of mail order kits available with easy-to-follow instructions that can be done at home.
To ensure you order the best DNA test for you, don’t just buy the first one you click on, as different kits offer different types of tests. Some specialize in testing for disease risk, or checking for inherited conditions, such as sickle cell anemia.
There are a variety of kits on the market focused specifically on diet and nutrition.
When you opt for one of these, you can decode your DNA in terms of how it will:
- Impact your weight.
- Affect how you build muscle.
- Influence the effectiveness of your workout method.
Buying the best DNA test for your needs means you can use the information you’ll gain about your genetics to transform your success with nutrition and fitness programs relevant to both your DNA and your lifestyle.
Some testing kits include recommendations based on a combination of factors such as DNA, age, weight, and height for optimal health outcomes. Others include diet plans that are tailored to your DNA type. To find the best DNA test for you, shop around, compare different brands, and check reviews. Think about what you want from your testing kit, and the value your chosen kit will bring to your life.
Once you’ve purchased your kit and completed the test, you’ll be able to access your results confidentially either online or through a specific app. From this, you can make simple adjustments to your nutrition and fitness for results that work long-term.
With contribution from Claire Hodges, DNA Weekly