If a person isn’t seeing the results they want in the gym, there are several ways to change this. They can alter their diet, exercise regimen, and even the type of workouts done. However, what some people don’t realize is how much genetics actually impacts their fitness level. There are genes that impact the shape and size of a person’s body, the way they adapt to training, muscular power, and aerobic fitness. To fully understand the role of genes on a person’s fitness, keep reading.
Where Genetics Come In
Don’t even bother to bring nurture vs. nature into this conversation. When it comes to athletic traits, the answer is that both have an impact. The scientific community looks at this in a different way – they consider how much of the difference that’s present between one person and other is due to their genes. This is the idea behind the concept of heritability.
The estimates derived from the concept of heritability are somewhat rough, as they depend on the population that is studied. For example, if aerobic fitness is studied just in sedentary individuals, the difference is likely going to be because of their DNA which means heritability will be nearly 100 percent. However, if you include athletes, there will be quite a bit of difference between the most and least fit individual. This is going to leave behind a much smaller percentage – approximately 50 percent – that is actually determined by genes.
This is the main reason a person shouldn’t be too discouraged by traits that come with high heritability. There are things that may be extremely heritable, but also subject to change. For example, obesity is something that is 70 percent heritable, which means genes play a huge role, but all that can be changed with a good diet and regular exercise.
When it comes to genes and fitness there are many factors to consider. For those who want to learn more about themselves, they can consider undergoing genetic testing. Jim Plante offers preventative technology and healthcare solutions to individuals who are interested in learning more about their own genetic makeup.