Guys, there’s always a time and a place for kicking back on the couch, but as our lives have become centred around the home there’s a few of us that may be regretting a little too much couch action. As we prepare for relaxed self-isolation rules, while the country prepares for cold and flu season, the worst thing you can do for your health and immune system right now is nothing.
But, the good news is, you can get the most out of your routines and focus on the things that are most important for your body, by using the science of DNA to understand exactly how unique you are. As human beings we all have the same set of genes, but small variations in each of these make us different from one another, and I’m not just talking about your height or hair colour. Research into the relationship between the genes you’ve inherited, and your diet and exercise has skyrocketed in recent years to help you truly understand why a diet or training program that works for you, may not work as well for your buddies.
This knowledge is power. In the past, DNA testing was only available to elite athletes. Today, anyone can buy a kit online or at a pharmacy, complete a cheek swab at home, then access a scientific report revealing their genetic advantages (or disadvantages) and how to work with them, empowering smarter health choices.
Throughout my years as a professional athlete, I was lucky enough to access some of the most advanced technology and advice, and through my network of Training Mate gyms, my time training celebrities, or even as a trainer with Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Body, I’ve seen what it takes to achieve personal goals. I always tell my clients “The best exercise you can do is the one you can stick to,” and we as humans are far more likely to stick to something that’s customised for us, especially when it delivers results. If you’re training by leveraging your genetic advantages, which for you could mean focusing on high-intensity exercise as opposed to cardio (or vice versa), you’ll be using your muscles in the way they were designed, which will improve the effectiveness and, chances are, you’ll enjoy it more and you’ll keep at it for longer.
Unlike most of you right now, your fitness regime doesn’t work in isolation as it needs to be supported by the food you eat. They’re an iconic duo that go together like vegemite on toast! I’m a strong believer that if it had a life, then it’s A-OK to eat. Plants, lean protein, grains and nuts all contain vitamins and minerals that will fuel your body. But with so many healthy eating diets to choose from you should also lean on science, and a DNA test, to help remove the guess work by taking a personalised approach. For example, some people have a gene variant that is linked to a reduced ability to burn fat, and if you knew this, you’d know to stay away from high-fat ways of eating like Keto, while another variant favours a high-protein diet for weight loss (as opposed to bulking up). You can also find out why you get cravings, what your body does with surplus calories and even what your body’s natural Vitamin D needs are, something we’re all getting less of right now.
I’m really lucky to partner with home-grown Aussie business, myDNA, who specialise in personalised wellness advice for their customers (including meal and fitness plans customised for your DNA profile, goals, and lifestyle). They have a range of tests that are already helping thousands of Aussies manage their health and wellbeing during this new COVID-19 way of living, but their Personalised Nutrition & Fitness and Personalised Vitamins tests are particularly useful.
I absolutely believe that focusing on a healthy lifestyle will help us stay well and feel happy, and that’s most evident when I chat with clients, such as Selena Gomez who has been quite public about the link between her physical and mental fitness. It’s important to keep this in mind as you prepare to return to your old routines. For many of you this means you’re back into the gym or back to organised sport, but for a lot of you it might re-introduce bad habits brought on by long days in the office and consistent weekend commitments.
Regardless of which bucket you fall in, you have a small window of opportunity right now to kick off stronger, fitter, and healthier routines. Sure, it’s different right now. Yeah, it can be harder working out without your training mates. But you’re a legend, and I know that with a little focus, and some unique advice (like from my mates at myDNA), you’ll get there.