Never Mind Your Jeans: Work Out for your Genes!

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.
This is the second blog I’ve written about the Unleash Your Greatness Summit I was fortunate enough to attend a couple of weeks ago.  The first covered Bill Phillip’s talk which was focused on how to simplify taking care of our bodies.  This one discusses Michele Promaulavko’s presentation entitled “You Have Control Over your Genetic Destiny”.  
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Michele Promaulavko

Michele is an author, Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo Health and has appeared on the Today show, CNN, Fox News, and The Tyra Banks Show.  She is a charismatic speaker and I love the topic of epigenetics so I found the presentation to be phenomenal.
I’ve been hearing a lot about this topic from Dr. Mike T. Nelson too, in my Mindset Performance Institute curriculum.  I can’t wait to share all of that with you!  When I attend training, it’s a win-win for both of us!  Sincerely.
Without getting too scientific, genetics is the study of hereditary traits:  it’s those things passed in DNA from parent to offspring.  Epigenetics is the study of how those genes respond to external input (for example, our diet, environment, physical exercise, etc).
 Epigenetics tells us that through lifestyle choices, we actually have a lot of control over our genetic destiny.  We do not have to be bystanders in our lives, or slaves to our DNA.  We can be active participants.
The really amazing fact is that by making changes in your life, not only do you have an impact on how your genes express themselves, but you influence which genes are passed to your future family members.
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I’m not making this up!  Changing your habits can, in fact, impact your children and their children!


This recent study shows that 3 months of exercise causes significant changes in the DNA found in sperm.  The DNA itself did not change but what was passed on to the offspring did!!  I just finished a class about understanding obesity, through the University of Edinburgh.  One lesson reported on several studies showing maternal nutrition has long lasting effects on offspring as well (for multiple generations)!


I don’t know about you, but I think if there was ever a reason to exercise,  the fact that we can impact future generations, should rank pretty close to the top of that list.


A fellow believer in holistic health (meaning that we are not a grouping of isolated body parts but; rather, that the body is a “system” with each piece affecting others), Michele talked about three specific areas we should focus on.


Weight Training


Strength training is one of the most overlooked aspects of health.  This is incredibly sad because it can provide so many benefits – to your body and brain.  Lean muscle burns more calories – even when you’re doing nothing.  Weight training impacts joint mobility, bone density, and body composition.  I am big believer that physical strength begets mental strength as well – it gives us confidence and makes us feel powerful.
Proper Nutrition

Food is all around us and we make choices every day.  We need to get a large number of those decisions correct, if we hope to have an impact.  The problem is, there is soooooooo much information, it’s like a fire hose coming at you and it is easy to become overwhelmed.  There seems to be an argument for every new diet going.


Here are two simple facts to keep in mind:


  1.  Lowering refined carbohydrates, sugar, and processed foods:  increasing protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, is best.  (In today’s environment I always feel like I need to add a disclaimer – I’m not saying to ban that first group of items.  I’m saying to lower your consumption of them).
  2. Small changes  add up to big cummulative benefits!   Don’t worry about the next 3 months.  Make a healthier choice for this one meal.  Then work on the next, and then the next.


Stress Reduction


Mitigating stress is one of the most profound things you can do for your total body.  It enhances physical, emotional, and mental health.


There is little question that we’re over-stimulated these days.  More work, more school, more meetings, more activities, more electronic gadgets, more commitments…


As part of any wellness practice, you need to find a way to decompress.  Some examples include meditating, taking a bath, yoga, sharing a meal with friends, working out, getting a massage, taking a 5 minute break to walk outside.  Do some CNS breathing:  breathe in slowly for a count of four through your nose.  Hold for a count of 5-7 and let it out through your mouth for a longer count.  Do this 4-5 times.  Get off your electronics 30-60 minutes before bed.  Go to bed earlier – even if it’s just 10 minutes right now.  Add another 10 minutes later.


Find what works for you and then take the time to do “that”.  It’s not self-indulgent.  It’s self-care.


Check in with me once in a while and let me know what’s working for you so that I might share your tips with others.


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  1. […] they (like you) are just at the mercy of their DNA… If you have time, read more about that here.   #3 Regardless of how long I live, being active and flexible throughout life, is a pretty […]

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