Why looking after yourself is the best investment you'll ever make

Lots of our older customers say they wish they'd had DNAfit when they were young. Enjoying a good quality of life into old age starts by looking after your body when you're in your 20s and 30s. Here’s why. 

In a COVID-19 world where we are forced to care more about ourselves than ever before there is one overarching truth that will never diminish: our health is our most precious asset.

Why investing in your health is important

When our bodies are healthy, it contributes to us living happier lives. This is because we’re able to do more of the things we love. Poor health gets even trickier when we grow older and so making a change sooner rather than later is imperative.

With all the information we have at our disposal, it’s never been easier to stay healthy and fit throughout our entire lives. However, it’s still difficult to understand what information we need to remain healthy. This is largely due to fads and misinformation. We’re bombarded with advice from well-meaning friends and family members, or internet celebs offering their take on the best way to stay healthy.

For this reason, DNAfit noticed that we all need to change the way that we view health. The one-size-fits-all approach to diet, exercise and general well being simply doesn’t work. Instead, we focus on personalising our advice according to what makes you unique: your DNA.

Lady jogging and listening to music | DNAfit Blog

Personalisation and proactive health

DNAfit aims to revolutionise the health industry, by way of a proactive approach as opposed to a reactive one.

Many of us are reactive in that when we get sick, we go to the doctor. It’s so easy to put things off, but when it comes to your health you can’t afford to procrastinate. By living like an ostrich, with your head in the sand, you put yourself at risk of developing preventable diseases later in life.

Aside from getting enough sleep, the two best ways to maintain our health is through regular exercise and proper nutrition. By knowing how your body responds to changes in diet and exercise, you’ll be able to make informed choices that will not only give you effective results in the short-term, but lead to better health long-term as well. These factors contribute positively to both our physical and mental health.

In terms of fitness, many of us work in offices behind desks all day. Once we get home we shovel down the quickest possible meal, throw on our pyjamas and head to the couch for an evening of Netflix before dragging ourselves off to bed to rinse and repeat. This leads to many of us falling into a very sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle.

Studies show that any and all physical activity is an integral component in our body's energy balance. The benefits of physical activity extend well beyond achievement and/or maintenance of a healthy weight.

In fact, a thorough review of the scientific literature by the Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee has shown that regular physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of diseases such as:

  • Obesity
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Colon cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Depression

All of these are preventable based on our lifestyles and our focus on staying healthy.

The importance of fitness and nutrition

You don’t need to rush out and eat nothing but salad while taking up marathons to make positive improvements to your lifestyle. Everyone starts somewhere. Doing something as simple as taking the stairs every day or making a concerted effort to go on a 30-minute walk contributes greatly to your health. Choosing a piece of fruit as a snack instead of a bar of chocolate will also have a huge impact on your health.

You should focus on getting all the right nutrients from the foods that you are eating daily. A serving of fruit and/or vegetables with each meal that you eat is a great way to start balancing your diet and fighting off disease and illness.

In terms of training, nutrition plays a big role here as you will need to replenish your energy stores after high intensity bouts of exercise. Whether you want to lose weight or build muscle, only part of that comes from the gym; the other part comes from a combination of your genes and your diet.

Maintain a balanced diet throughout the day. Focus on including sufficient protein, unsaturated fats, unrefined carbs and vegetables. Try to cut out processed foods and sweets, and you will feel satiated by the time you go to bed. Your body won’t be starved of the fuel that it needs. This also means better sleep and faster results from your training.

Wellness drawing on a book | DNAfit Blog

The role genetics plays in fitness and nutrition

DNAfit offers a new perspective on your health and wellness. We analyse your genes through a simple cheek swab, in order to discover your individual response to different aspects of your nutrition and fitness.

On the fitness side, this information will help you find the best way for you to train. Once you have this information, you can reach your goals faster. For instance, we can tell you whether you are better suited to power or endurance modalities of training. This allows you to focus on exercises that work with your genes instead of against them.

3D fragment of human DNA molecule | DNAfit Blog

In terms of nutrition, nutrigenetics tests for individual abilities to tolerate things like lactose, caffeine and alcohol. We also have different capabilities to absorb important micronutrients such as such as vitamins B, C, D and E and Omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect us against cancers, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative conditions. Knowing this can help us boost our nutrient intake to protect our bodies.

DNA tests can also identify those predisposed to diseases including type 2 diabetes, coeliac disease and high cholesterol levels which can lead to cardiovascular problems. This may seem frightening - but forewarned is forearmed. This allows individuals to modify their diets and prevent the condition developing.

Research at Stanford University demonstrated that individuals lost significantly more weight following a diet based on their DNA profile, compared to a traditional weight loss methods. The study found that those on a diet that matched their genotype lost two to three times more weight over twelve months. These factors show the huge potential of genetic science. Download our Proactive Health Management Playbook to learn more about preventing lifestyle-related diseases trough diet and exercise.

Download the Proactive Health Management Playbook by DNAfit

What is preventative health care?

According to the NHS, we’re all unique and our health is determined by our inherent differences combined with our lifestyles and environment. They even recognise that by combining and analysing information about our genome, with other clinical and diagnostic information, patterns can be identified that can help to determine:

  • our individual risk of developing disease
  • the most effective interventions to help improve our health
  • and detect illness earlier

Better Health Ahead | DNAfit Blog

The CDC goes on to state that prevention is the way forward in terms of healthcare today. Eating healthy, exercising regularly, avoiding tobacco, and receiving preventive services such as cancer screenings, preventive visits, and vaccinations are just a few examples of ways people can stay healthy. The right preventive care at every stage of life helps people stay healthy, avoid or delay the onset of disease, keep diseases they already have from becoming worse or debilitating, lead productive lives, and reduce costs.

Preventative medicine is a positive trend. People are becoming aware of the importance of being proactive about their health and using technology to take their wellness journey into their own hands. It’s no longer just in the hands of a doctor once you’re already ill. By using everything at our disposal we can make positive changes right now, all on our own. An example of this is biohacking. In short, biohacking is about using everything at your disposal to increase your human performance.

Biohackers around the world are motivating more and more people every day to improve their health, to gain a deeper understanding of their bodies, and to take control. Biohackers have also been known to utilise nootropics: drugs thought to increase performance of the mind, body and soul – a pill not so dissimilar to the one used in “Limitless”, without the Hollywood storyline. The integration of innovative solutions such as utilising genetics is perfectly aligned with the main tenets of biohacking.

Benefits of preventative health care

DNAfit has conducted research on our own customers and has found that many of our older customers, such as Allison, believe that if they had this information when they were younger it would have been highly beneficial to them throughout their lives.

Now that the science is readily available, people of all ages (young and old, fit and unfit), have all the tools they need their disposal.

There’s a long list of benefits of preventative health care, but to name a few:

  • Regular screening for diseases, such as high blood pressure or diabetes
  • Gain crucial insight into future disease risks, such as high cholesterol and obesity
  • Makes you responsible for your own health
  • Allows you to discuss alcohol use and safe drinking and tips on how to quit smoking
  • Encourages a healthy lifestyle, such as healthy eating and exercise
  • Maintains a relationship with your provider in case of illness
  • Allows you to discuss medicines or supplements that you are taking

Find out how DNAfit can help you to be proactive about your health today

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