Study Shows, Exercise over Genetics

Our genetic make-up plays a significant role in what we look like: hair color, eye color, height. We develop many traits as a result of our parents, and we could even go as far to say that much of our fitness potential is affected by our lineage, as well. Truth is, some people have more potential for muscle gain (and fat gain) and some people have less; our different body types prove this. However, there is a distinction in just how far we can take this theory of genetic predisposition. We all have seen the exceptions. Two thin parents can certainly have an overweight child, and two overweight parents can have a thin child. So we can see that the genetic factor doesn't always overcome the lifestyle factor.

A recent study of 704 Amish men and women in Lancaster, Penn., carrying a specific “obesity gene” revealed a life of vigorous exercise to trump the effect of the gene. Those in the more physically active group expended 900 more calories per day than those in the less physically active group. The higher activity level represented about three hours of moderate exercise, and the jobs of participants ranged from farmers to factory workers.

We don't have to work in the fields to get sufficient exercise, but we do have to perform some kind of physical exercise to offset the fat storage that results from our generally in-active lifestyles, such as:

  • Walking frequently
  • Working out three days week
  • Taking the stairs
  • Parking in the furthest parking space

It’s all about taking charge of our lives. We have to take an active approach in order to live healthy. Studies prove it.