Genetics play a vital role in our lives in a variety of ways. Think about it, you are the average of your parent’s genes. This is important in a number of ways. Other factors also play important roles in who we eventually become.
Some people are lucky to be born with great genetics; good looks, good health, good body fat composition, good height, high IQ. Others aren’t just so lucky, while others fall somewhere in between.
It’s also important to know the role mutation plays – that is the deviation from the genetic norm of a gene. Some people are born normal but the environment and other factors might change their genetic constitution.
The purpose of this article is not to discourage you or to tell you to accept your fate. It’s for you to understand that even though there isn’t much you can do about genetics, there are other factors that play important roles in our overall health. These are the areas we should focus on improving in achieving the results we want.
AREAS WHERE GENETICS PLAY A KEY ROLE
This can be frustrating as some people are born with great physique while others aren’t. Think about Phil Heath, the seven-time winner of the Mr Olympia Championship. He is also known as the gift because of his great genetics and ability to build muscle faster than others.
Muscle proportion, shoulder-waist ratio are characters of a great physique and to some extent is determined by good genetics.
Good looks, skin colour, the colour of hair, eyes are determined by genetics. In a few instances, there might be exceptions. Good-looking people usually have good looking parents.
The body fat percentage is the total mass of fat divided by total body mass, multiplied by 100. Other indicators of body fat include Body Mass Index (BMI), amount of subcutaneous fat, regional fat distribution and subcutaneous fat pattern.
Body fat percentage is naturally higher in women than in men. Genetics play a key role in body fat.
Intelligence quotient (IQ) is the measure of intelligence. Elements of intelligence include the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly and understand complex ideas.
Intelligence is strongly influenced by both genetics and intelligence. Studies have shown that genetics underlie about 50% of the genetic differences in intelligence among individuals.
Genetics determine height to some extent. There can’t be exemptions when you think about people with gigantism and dwarfism.
60-80 per cent of genetics is responsible for height differences among individuals. The remaining 20 – 40 per cent can be attributed to factors such as environment, mainly nutrition.
So many diseases have a strong relationship with genetics. Genes carrying certain defects can predispose to a whole lot of diseases. There isn’t much that can be done except for prevention. This is why it’s necessary to find a genetically compatible mate during mating or marriage.
Diseases with a strong genetically predilection include Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, diabetes, psoriasis, hypertension, heart diseases, Sickle Cell Anaemia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, just to mention a few.
Genetics also has a role to play in people with weak immune systems. It’s also good to note that some diseases strongly linked to genetics can weaken a person’s immune system allowing the person to suffer from other diseases.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT
Now that you know that genetics play a huge role in determining the overall health, you should also know that not only genetics but other factors play a role too such as the environment. It’s necessary to work on these things. Not much you can do to change genetics.
Although there is a new area of development called Genetic engineering which focuses on manipulating genes to get the desired outcome. But that is not in the scope of this article.
Even though you might not have great physique genetically. Doing fitness will improve your physique. You might not get the shape of people who have the genetics like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Phil Heath. You can create the best version of yourself.
It’s also necessary to note that no one is perfect, not even professional bodybuilders. You might have wide shoulders and a small waist with uneven biceps or small quads and vice versa. The point is to identify your weak point and to work on this area.
Not much you can do about your looks except you wish to undergo plastic surgery. You should be aware of the risks involved before deciding to undergo plastic surgery.
Doing fitness, in general, improves your looks. You have less subcutaneous fat and your skin is tighter and looks better.
Eating healthy diets is also important as well as other good habits such as getting enough sleep. Much of these have been discussed in Fitness Basics, Start with These 10 Things First.
I don’t know of any means to increase your height as an adult. Much of this is determined in childhood as a combination between genetics and environment.
It’s important to know doing fitness will give you a good posture which will enhance your height. Also, fit people are less prone to conditions such as osteoporosis that will affect their bones and spine and reduce height as they age.
Most of the time, bad genetics predispose to diseases. Genetics alone doesn’t cause disease usually.
Most diseases occur as a result of poor genetics in combination with bad habits, poor environmental and socioeconomic factor.
A person with bad genetics that smoke and drink are more prone to develop cardiovascular diseases than a person that don’t. This is true for other diseases as well.
In conclusion, yes genetics is important and there isn’t a whole lot you can do about that but there are some things you can work on. This is where your focus should be.