7 steps to achieving your goals

Fitness

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7 steps to achieving your goals

1. Set realistic goals
Some goals are unrealistic and will only set you up for disappointment like, I want to lose 10kg in a month. The problem is when you don’t achieve them you feel unmotivated. Setting smaller, more realistic goals is much more effective and will help you to stay on track and reach your finish line. When you set goals in stages and celebrate every positive step you take along the way, you’re more likely to reach your ultimate goal.

2. Write them down
Accountability is key to success. Write down your goals and post them somewhere visible in your home. Reading your goals everyday will motivate you to stay on track and remind you to keep going.

3. Surround yourself with positive people
It’s easier to achieve your goals with support from others. Start training with a friend or get your kids or partner involved in your healthy cooking. Surrounding yourself with loved ones will make you feel as though you’re not alone and you’ll have a great time doing it.

4. Find out the best nutrition and fitness plan just for you
Did you know that your genes actually determine how your body processes foods and how it retains fat? Our nutrition and fitness test can tell you exactly what foods and exercises are best for you based on your DNA.

5. Order your myDNA test online
It’s so easy. Order your test online today and get everything you need to get started. All it takes is a simple cheek swab. You then post it back to us in a reply-paid envelope and we analyse your results. You report can be accessed online anytime and your results will have lifelong relevance.

6. Preparation is key
It might seem hard to carve out the time to prep your meals, but it’ll save you lots of time and money! Having your meals and snacks ready to go will help you to avoid temptation. Meal prep for the week can all be done in an afternoon and it’s an important step that will help you stay on track.

7. Track your progress
Now that you’re taking steps towards your goals, it’s time to track your progress. When you track your progress and achieve small realistic goals, you’ll be able to look back and see how far you’ve come. Your progress tracker is available in the myDNA Explore portal so get online and start recording your progress today.

How three active people are using DNA insights to reach their goals

Reach your goals

Donna’s been preparing for the Kokoda Trail for over a year, but with the nine-day trek fast approaching, she wanted to optimize her training. She ordered a myDNA Nutrition & Fitness report to help her get there.

Her report revealed that she’s more likely to get soft tissue injuries. In 2014, she damaged her hip running the Melbourne Marathon, something she wanted to avoid this time around:

“Injuring myself prior to achieving this goal, a long-held bucket list item, is a grave concern for me. I want to train in the safest possible way for my body.”

Working with her trainer, she used her new insights to overhaul her training plan by adding dynamic exercises and proper rest days to minimise her risk of injury.

“Last week was the first real test of this. Although I was tired, my body fared well and— more importantly— my hip barely gave me grief.”

Maximise Your Potential

Nicolette was already fit and strong, so she used her myDNA Nutrition & Fitness bundle to review her overall health.

“The results showed that I create muscle power easily, but don’t have great flexibility. I’m prone to soft tissue damage and when I tear something it takes longer to get better.

Intuitively, I probably knew this, but this report has helped me to accept my body and how it works. I need to be careful and work more consistently if I want to do the splits one day.”

After she received her results, Nicolette worked with her trainer to focus more on weights, HIIT and flexibility.

With these changes, Nicolette stayed the same weight, but gained 3kg in muscle and saw her body fat drop from 18.5% to 15.5%.

Train Smarter not Harder

Shane’s been active his whole life, playing ice hockey for 17 years and doing kick-boxing, body-building, wind-surfing and surfing.

Now that he’s over 50 with four children, he has less time to train. He says his body doesn’t work quite as well as it used to, but he still wants to keep fit. He says:

“That’s why the myDNA Reports have been so valuable. I don’t want to follow whatever diet some guy in the gym recommends. It’s got to be right for my body.”

His reports revealed that he’s an athletic all-rounder who can burn fat fast. This helped to explain why he’d excelled at so many sports and stayed thin easily, while others struggled.

His report also recommended he leave more time to recover after exercise. Since making this change, Shane feels that he’s about to bring more strength to his training sessions.

Shane has now ordered several kits for his children so that they can have access to this valuable self-knowledge from a younger age.

How elite athletes are using DNA testing to gain an edge.

In the quest for athletic excellence, elite sports clubs are exploring new frontiers in sports training through DNA testing. As these clubs compete for supremacy, the challenge is to keep players fit and at peak performance throughout the season. Genetic testing is now being used as an important training aid that can make the difference between a successful season and an injury-ridden one.

Football clubs take the leap

Football giants Barcelona pioneered the use of DNA tests to determine personalised training regimes for their players. This was credited with keeping them largely injury free for a season. Last year, the Egyptian Football Association turned to genetic testing, hoping to maximise the performance of their players. They aren’t alone. Several English clubs have also shown interest in the idea of using DNA testing to determine injury risks to individual players.

Is genetic testing the answer to demanding sports schedules?

A recent UK study has shown that 80% of athletes and support staff showed a willingness to engage in genetic testing. This is part of a shift in approach with athletes and support staff exploring more personalised and efficient training models that reduce injury risks. This is critical as tour calendars and athletic events get more demanding.

DNA testing levels the playing field

The enthusiasm isn’t limited to elite sports circles alone. The same DNA tests used by elite clubs have now been made more cost-effective and is available to anyone interested in understanding their genetic aptitudes.

It’s not surprising that there is a rising interest in amateur athletes and sports enthusiasts. After all, who can deny the benefits of knowing what to do if you may have a higher injury risk, or if your genes could be geared towards certain sports?

Disappointed with your DNA? Here’s what you need to know

Let’s be honest. No one wants the fat gene. No one gets excited about having the low energy gene either. But if these traits come up in your myDNA Nutrition and Fitness report, should you despair? No. Here’s why…

Discovering you have one of the ‘less favourable’ gene variants is actually a good thing. It means you also get to find out which foods and exercises will work best for YOUR body.

Maximise your potential

What you draw in the genetic lottery is entirely down to your parents. Everyone has two copies of each gene: one inherited from their mother; one from their father. And you can’t change it. Your DNA is set for life.

Your DNA does influence your health and fitness, but through DNA analysis you can learn how to maximise your strengths and overcome any weaknesses.

A myDNA nutrition and fitness report explains the likely affect your genes will have on your health and fitness. But it also tells you what’s been scientifically proven to improve the health and wellbeing of others who share your specific gene type. In other words… what you can do about your DNA.

The fat gene

Let’s start with the gene many people fear: FTO.

Commonly called the fat gene, FTO is linked to body size, fat storage and obesity. Certain FTO variations can make you more likely to reach for the biscuits. But will the fat gene automatically make you fat? No chance.

On average, people with a variation in their FTO gene tend to be a bit heavier than those who have the ‘normal’ version of the gene. But this is an average – not a guarantee.

Some people show no obesity risk factors in their genes but they’re still overweight. Others show an increased risk yet they’re supermodel skinny.

It’s your lifestyle, what you eat and your environment – together with your genes – that determines the number on your bathroom scales. So if you have a less-than-ideal FTO result (and a surprising number of us do*), eating more protein combined with regular exercise may help you fight it and keep hunger at bay.

Results that stick

In fairness, the FTO gene doesn’t entirely deserve its bad reputation either; there are many genes that combine to affect your risk of obesity.

For instance, the MTIF3 gene is another that could be making your jeans feel tight. People with certain MTIF3 gene variations are more likely to be bigger than others, but they’re also more likely to maintain any hard-earned weight loss over time. There’s some great motivation!

Make the switch

Feeling flat? It could be your PPARGC1A gene (that’s the one that helps regulate our energy). Naturally, the more energy you have, the easier exercise is going to be – and the longer you can do it.

If you’re someone with low endurance, you’re not alone – more than one in seven of us share this result*. While this genetic variation is rare in endurance athletes, it’s actually quite common in power-lifters. So perhaps you should forget about setting marathon records, and try keeping up with the best at CrossFit?

You’ve got the power

Do you feel the need for speed? That’s the ACTN3 gene, which builds a protein that allows your muscles to work faster and harder.

If you don’t produce ACTN3 protein, you probably won’t win many races and may get sore or injured after intense training. This isn’t ‘weakness’ – it just means your body is better suited to low-intensity training, like swimming, a brisk walk or yoga.

Find what works for you

These are just four of the 14 genes that myDNA tests to compile each personalised nutrition and fitness report.

You can’t change your DNA if you don’t like it, but understanding your unique genetic makeup on the inside makes it a lot easier to change and improve what’s on the outside.

* myDNA nutrition and fitness reports include the percentage of the Caucasian population (the largest ethnic group in Australia) that shares your gene variation.

How I lost 15kgs and improved my heart health with myDNA

The classic yo-yo

I grew up thinking that carbs and food in general were the enemy, as my mother and I both seemed to gain weight so easily.

By the time I’d finished high school I’d already tried several diets, including slimming shakes, caloric restriction and cabbage soup. You could say I was the classic yo-yo dieter: I would diet, lose weight then gain it all back again!

Last year I was about 10kgs heavier than I wanted to be. At the time I was thinking, it can’t get any worse than this! My personal trainer was worried because although I wasn’t particularly huge, I was carrying a lot of weight around my middle, which is the most dangerous place to carry it. I have quite a history of heart disease in my family so I really felt like I had to make a change.

Following the fad

Then I heard about keto (a high-fat diet). I thought, I can do that, smashed avocado for breakfast sounds great. I continued my usual exercising 4 times a week at the gym, but I was hungry all the time. I’d have protein for breakfast and by the time I arrived at work I was hungry again. I also had intense cravings which would lead to “binge-eating” foods that this diet restricted me from eating.

Within two months I had gained another 6kgs and it wasn’t all muscle.

Early adopter

As luck would have it, I was working at myDNA and I became one of the first to get access to the myDNA Nutrition Report in July 2017.

My results came back and I was recommended a higher protein/ lower-fat diet. Even though it was rich in protein, the thing that surprised me most was that this diet included 55% carbohydrates. The same carbs that I had avoided for the last 10 years.

Heart health warning

I was also shocked to learn that I have several genetic markers that mean I’m more likely to have elevated triglycerides and cholesterol. This made sense given my family history of heart disease. I once had a blood test which showed that I had raised cholesterol when I was 16. At the time we thought it was a random hormonal spike, but after I got my DNA results I realised I have some ongoing risk factors.

After I got my report I went to the doctor and found that my cholesterol and triglycerides were still raised. I’m only 26, so I’m way too young to have these issues.

I had all the motivation I needed to put my report into action. The serving size guide was a bit of an education, so I adjusted my portion sizes and became familiar with what 65g of steak looks like, versus 100g of fish in a single serve. I learnt that 1 potato = 1 bag of spinach. Instead of a whole avocado, I eat a quarter.

After a few months I had my bloods tested again and they were down to a safe level.

Now I know that each day I’m making decisions about my heart health and that’s helping me to make healthier choices.

Shaking the kilos off

Sarah standing alongside Holly Louise – The Fit Pharmacist

And I’m thrilled to say that I’ve lost 15.5kgs so far. The first 5kgs came off in the first 8 weeks. Since then I’ve been losing a steady 250g per week, most of the time. With my wedding coming up next year I’m glad to be a healthier, slimmer me.


Sarah’s Tips for putting your myDNA Diet into action

Make it personal

  • Because I’m gluten intolerant and lactase deficient I had to adjust some of the recipes to suit me. An example of this is porridge. Instead of skim milk I use almond milk.
  • I also choose to eat more of my carbs in the morning and fewer in the afternoon or evening as that’s what feels good to me.
  • I’m on the road a lot, so I prefer to eat six smaller meals throughout the day. This keeps my energy levels on an even keel. I have each small meal in a different container. I’m like a hobbit with my breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper.

Be prepared

I do most of my meal planning and prep on a Sunday. I usually cook up something that can last me a few days and which I can pair with different side dishes (like salad or quinoa) on different days.

I’ve found ways to prepare my protein without oil and to make sure that it’s still full of flavour.

As one example, I marinade chicken breasts and I cook them on baking paper, with a foil cover on top. This means that the chicken basically steams and ends up juicy and delicious. You need to make sure that you let it rest afterwards to that the juices don’t evaporate.

Change it up!

Change it up each week! By eating a varied diet, I have found it so much more sustainable as I’m not bored and I’m not starving my body! If you need some meal inspiration you can check out the sample meal plans on the myDNA patient portal.

About Sarah: Sarah works for myDNA. She started here in the admin team and has risen to be a leading sales person out on the road. Part of the secret to Sarah’s success in selling myDNA is her own story of using her DNA results to radically improve her life. While she eats like a hobbit, she doesn’t look like one.

Please note: a myDNA test does not reveal if you are gluten intolerant or lactase deficient. A myDNA test will reveal what your DNA says about your risk of elevated cholesterol of triglycerides, but a blood test is required to reveal your actual current levels.

Confessions of a health and fitness tracker

In my quest to get fit and healthy, I’ve become something of a track star. Just not in the way you might think…

I’ve got health apps, a fitness wristband, a smartwatch – you name it – all tracking my every move. Pick any day in the past few months and I can tell you what I had for breakfast, how many glasses of water I drank, how long I slept – even the beats of my heart.

Who’s with me?

I admit I get a thrill every time my phone lights up with a congratulations message, making me feel like a champion for reaching my daily goals. On other days, the ‘get active’ reminders can be more annoying than inspirational.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. Loads of us are obsessed with measuring our own health and fitness data – but are we missing a vital piece of information? Read on…

Let’s get personal

There are hundreds of thousands of health and fitness apps designed to measure anything from aerobic workouts to fat-burning zones. On the latest smartphones, health apps now come standard.

Clearly, we want to understand our bodies better. We’re searching for tools to help us make healthier choices.

But the goals we are setting and the equipment we’re using are typically designed around averages rather than individuals. This is why many people are looking to get an edge from what makes them unique – their DNA.

Health is the driving force

Around half of the adult population in Australia, England and the U.S. sport a fitness tracker, according to a PwC report1. More are joining the ‘track’ team every day, as the number of wearable devices ranging from fitness trackers to smartwatches to smart clothing is forecast to double by 20212.

Health is the motivation but does the initial enthusiasm for a new toy deliver results?

Do health and fitness trackers work?

For those like me who thrive on goal setting and encouragement, trackers can be a great tool for improving your health. Yet experts are divided on how effective fitness trackers really are.

Some studies suggest that fitness trackers and apps primarily benefit the already fit and healthy; others have found that trackers have little or no effect at all. Market research suggests around one third of devices end up in the bottom drawer within six months3. Why?

It’s got me thinking… Who decided that 10,000 steps is the goal for everyone4? How do I know that I’m doing the right type of exercise for my body? What’s the point of tracking my food if I’m eating the wrong things?

To find out what’s really going to be effective for your body, you need to get personal. You need to take a peek inside.

All the gear but no idea

DNA analysis is a growing field of science. Once exclusive to laboratories, genetic testing is now available to anyone who wants to know more about which diet and fitness regime will work best for their body.

Everyone’s DNA is different. While we share much of our DNA with each other – 99% in fact – it’s less than 1% that makes us individuals, giving us different facial features, hair colour, and height.

This small fraction is also what shapes whether you’re someone who easily gains weight, favours sprints to marathon distance – even how your body responds to your coffee habit.

Knowing this information is the best starting point for deciding how to manage your health and wellbeing.

How do I discover my DNA?

myDNA, offers non-invasive DNA tests, which involve a simple cheek swab and then popping the sample in the post to Melbourne. Around two weeks later, you can access your results and recommendations via a secure online portal.

Your DNA results will stay the same for your entire life. Your comprehensive and personalised myDNA nutrition and fitness report will tell you the best options for you and help you tailor your approach to health and fitness.

As the saying goes, knowledge is power. Your personal DNA results empower you to make the best choices for your body. Combine that with tracking your actual behaviour, and smashing targets should get a whole lot easier.


1 https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industry/entertainment-media/assets/pwc-cis-wearables.pdf
2 https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS42818517
3 https://www.wired.com/story/science-says-fitness-trackers-dont-work-wear-one-anyway
4 http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2017-05-17/10000-steps-is-it-enough/8532768

Finally, the reason I hate long distance running

When my training buddies started preparing for a marathon, I wanted to join them. But my body hit its limits even before I could cross the start line.

A calf tear during training stopped me from running and it took months to heal. I even got injured when I did the 15k Run for the Kids.

Dealing with injuries is hard. There’s the time it takes to heal and then more time before you can run long distances again. All these setbacks played on my mind. I wondered whether I should give up.

I looked inside for answers

I wanted to understand why my body couldn’t keep up. I don’t claim to be a professional athlete, but I’ve had a pretty active life. I played footy till I was 25 and cricket for around 20 years. I was a pretty well-rounded player. I knew how to train my body and I was as fit as anybody.

As a co-founder of myDNA, it was natural for me to turn to genetics to find answers. When we developed the new myDNA Fitness Report, I had the perfect opportunity to discover how my genes were affecting my fitness levels.

My Fitness Report revealed that I was genetically more prone to injuries than others. I had a high risk of injury to my soft tissues and tendons.

I also learnt that my body was also genetically designed to be balanced in terms of power and endurance. That explained why I was performing well as an all-rounder in footy and cricket; sports that needed both power and endurance.

I had assumed that it was my lack of proper training that was to blame for my injuries, but it appeared my body simply was not designed for activities that required extreme endurance.

My DNA results renewed my confidence

The results were an eye-opener. Understanding my body’s strengths and weaknesses filled me with a renewed sense of purpose. My body may not be suited for marathons that require only endurance, but a mix of strength and endurance would be ideal for a triathlon.

Before I took the myDNA Fitness test, I had focused on increasing my endurance and wondered why I couldn’t keep up with my friends.

Once I had the results, I decided to do strength training as well, and started attending gym regularly. I shared my report with a personal trainer, who created a fitness regimen to boost my muscle strength and reduce weight.

I also took more care in doing my warm ups and gave my body more time to recover. The report made me realise that a balanced approach was suitable for my body, and would yield better results in the long run.

Working out what’s right for me

My Fitness Report gave me direction, when I was completely at a loss. Ever since I changed my approach, I have stayed positive and injury-free, which is a huge relief. I can feel the progress in my body and that’s really motivating me to keep training.

Looking at my DNA results, it seems that triathlons, which I have competed in before, are probably the best test of my endurance. Now that I’ve changed my training to suit my DNA, I feel more confident that I can participate again and achieve much better results. Watch this space.

20 Grand Slams. How does Federer still do it?

Amongst the athletes who compete in the highest form of any sport, there are few who can capture our imagination like Roger Federer.

In a five-set test of endurance and will power, the Swiss maestro overcame the much younger Čilić at the Australian Open 2018, to seize his 20th Grand Slam. How does he do it? Is it his dedication to a particular lifestyle and fitness regime or a genetic advantage that allows him to maintain his athletic prowess?

He isn’t alone. Look at Usain Bolt. Even in his prime, it made no sense that a man that big could move that fast. Lionel Messi, on the other hand, was famously told that he was too small for football.

The three are vastly different athletes. Federer’s serve-and-volley style combines lightning-quick reflexes with endurance that dominates brutal rallies. Bolt thunders down the track like an unbeatable force. Messi dances, slicing with agility through his opponents, like a knife through butter.

Are these athletes born with a natural gift? Or is it attitude and training that helped them get to where they are? How is what they do humanly possible?

The science behind the exceptional

Sports science has been trying to answer these questions. In the last two decades interest has peaked in the contribution of genetic influences.

Federer’s feet respond quicker than most, allowing him to unleash devastating returns. Both Bolt and Messi have turned their stature into an advantage. Messi uses his lower centre of gravity to make sudden shifts in direction. Bolt uses his larger stride to cover more ground.

There is also a high chance that all three benefit from the sprinting gene – ACTN3, which boosts fast-twitch muscle fibres that provide bursts of speed.

One thing is clear, these athletes understood their bodies well. They trained to improve their natural abilities and overcome their weaknesses with their own style of play.

What kind of athlete are you?

So, the question is, when it comes to regular joes like us, do we know what kind of athletes we want to be?

Most of us follow the norm, training to the demands of a sport we enjoy, rather than listening closely to our own bodies.

What people like Federer, Bolt and Messi show, is that it’s more important to understand the natural gifts we possess, and the kind of athletes we can be.

The natural gifts you were born with.

There has been a lot of validated research in the last few decades on the subject of genes that affect our performance.

Until recently, most of these findings were accessible only to top-tier professionals. Now, it’s possible for any one of us to discover what our genes have to say.

For instance, the COL5A1 gene affects flexibility, by governing how densely packed the collagen is, in our ligaments and tendons. Certain variations of this gene can give our bodies more natural agility than most others.

We can learn a lot more about the unique genes we possess from the myDNA Fitness Report, which gives us insights into different genes that affect speed, agility and performance.

Knowing our genetic aptitudes may not turn us into another Federer, but it can help us train better, and maybe even push the limits we have set ourselves.

Have you heard?

MyDNA has been getting noticed by leading figures in the Fitness and Wellness area. Word is spreading like wildfire…

Fitness and Wellness guru Tim Robards shared his results and how genetic information can help you reach your full potential.

He discovered in his Diet Report that he had a reduced ability to burn fat and that he’s less likely to feel full and more likely to overeat. This knowledge had inspired him to be more consistent with his eating habits and to eat more nutrient dense food.

Tim reflected, “For me there’s power in knowing genetically where you are at and then knowing that you have the power with your environment to ramp it up or ramp or down.”

The fitness expert said that he had already worked out that his body was more suited to power and strength training than endurance. The main revelation for Tim was his increased injury risk.

“This is something that I have denied in myself. I have had plenty of injuries. Knowing that [I have an increased risk] has really made me say this is 100% something I need to do, I need to warm up every time, and it needs to be a good warm up.”

I really believe that this can help kick a lot of us into gear and encourage you to take a good look at your environment and be honest as to whether it is helping you live to your full genetic potential… life’s too short not to!

Model and Foodie Natalie Roser shared her experience of eating a low fat Omega-3 rich diet.

“I’ve paired up my new eating plan with #mydnalife and I’m really enjoying it! I’m listening to my body better than ever before.”

The positive body image advocate Fiona Falkiner found out that power training and HIIT training should suit her best, based on her genetics.

“I love this type of training and can feel even better when I’m doing it now, knowing that is perfect for me.”

So after avoiding cardio for most of my life 🙅🏼‍♀️- it’s pretty cool to know that my body is more than capable of it (in fact pretty suited to it!) 🏃🏼‍♀️ #MyDnaLife told me that my “aerobic fitness is naturally high and can be improved with training”! Big surprise there! 😂🙌🏼 Since getting the @mydnalife report back last week I’ve felt pretty motivated to prove the test results correct and have added some cardio sessions into my regular training for the week. ⚡️ Although I can’t say I’m Usain Bolt just yet… it’s cool to know I’m on the right track 😬 • • • • #fitness #health #wellbeing #gym #workout #cardio #endurance #mentalhealth #womenshealth #fit #mydnalifepartner

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Meanwhile ‘Plus Size Model’ and presenter Jess King had a huge smile on her face.

“She was also happy to learn that “after avoiding cardio for most of my life, it’s pretty cool to know that my body is more than capable of it (in fact pretty suited to it!).”

She learnt that her aerobic fitness is naturally high and can be improved with training.

She also learnt from her Nutrition Report that her body is better suited to a higher protein diet to help her feel fuller for longer.

I just got my results back from @mydnalife ! 💥 I found out SO much information purely based on my own personal genetics. 🧐Turns out my body is better suited to a high protein diet- by upping my servings of protein I should have more energy and feel fuller for longer! 👍🏼👍🏼At the moment I feel like I’m ALWAYS hungry and I do tire easily. 😴 The test also said that I’m just as capable of cardio as I am of weight training. 🏃🏼‍♀️🏋🏼‍♀️As someone who has avoided cardio for most of their life- now I have no excuse haha!🙅🏼‍♀️ I’m going to add some more cardio into my personal training sessions to see just what my body is capable of! 💪🏼Watch this space! 🙌🏼💫 #mydnalife #health #wellness #nutrition #exercise #food #mydnalifepartner

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And Australian Professional Triathlete Sam Betten has also just submitted his swab for analysis. We’ll let you know what learnings he shares from his results, or follow him on Instagram to be the first to find out.

If I’d known at 20 what I know now about my body.

Imagine if you knew at age 20 all the lessons you learnt about your body by the time you were 40, how valuable would that be? I recently got access to my Fitness Report from myDNA. It was a revelation.

When I was 20

When I was 20, it was 1998. I had started an internship in London and took up kick-boxing with a friend. It was quite satisfying. We would return to our shared flat pumped up and continue to fight. We quickly discovered that we were more likely to hurt ourselves than anyone else when we tried a roundhouse kick when we weren’t warmed up.

I got into jogging and completed a 10k run. But there were times when my main source of exercise was running for the tube after a few glasses of wine.

Eventually I got into yoga and hiking to escape the craziness of city life.

Exercise in my thirties

On relocating to Melbourne aged 30, I had a go at swimming, but it didn’t last long. Yoga and aerobics were my thing, until pregnancy and a dodgy pelvis made that tricky.
After two babies, I tried to get back into shape. Mostly I pushed a pram around. I tried group training but a couple of sessions left me with a bad knee, highlighting how weak I’d become.

Getting fit for 40 and beyond

With 40 just around the corner, I realised that I needed to do something to get stronger and joined a gym. I’ve been there for six months and the strength in my knee has changed substantially for the better. It’s not only my knee. So much of my body feels stronger as a result. I feel that strength training feels like the best thing that I can do for my health in the long term.

When I got my Fitness Report

When I got my fitness results, it felt like a snapshot of me. The first thing I noticed was that I have naturally low stamina, which wasn’t great news.

The main contributor is my PPARGC1A gene variation, which is relatively rare (13.3% of the population). Whilst it’s disappointing, it also goes some way to explaining why I’m no endurance athlete. It showed me that others have a natural advantage over me when it comes to stamina. I need to work harder than others to get the same results.

The upside of this is that I am more suited to power sports, which means my muscles are equipped to work at full power in sports that rely on sudden bursts of energy. Whilst I’ve never been a sprinter or high jumper, this was the most valuable part of the report for me. It reaffirmed my decision to go to the gym and to focus on weights.

Renewed enthusiasm

The knowledge of my results has perked me up. I’ve always exercised cautiously, but my results suggest that I have more potential than I appreciated. I began putting my weights up more often. It turns out I can lift some decent weights for a small person, but my personal trainer has stressed the importance of technique. It’s no use putting the weights up if technique is sacrificed on the way.

Surprising revelations

I was surprised to learn that my overall injury risk is normal. In fact, my COL1A1 result puts me in the 4.4% of the population who have a reduced risk and better supported joints. This was surprising because I have a history of over-mobile joints, but it seems that the research is still unclear as to which genes, or combination of genes, influence this condition.

Even with an overall ‘normal’ injury risk, injuries are more likely when you’re not strong. So my results don’t mean that I can be complacent.

Probably the biggest wake-up call has come from my Fitness workout program. The examples of what a week could look like underline to me that I am simply not doing enough. It’s time to diversify and add a few more workouts into my regular training program.

If I could turn back time

So what would I have done differently if I had known my results?

I think if I had understood my capacity to build muscle, I would have been inspired to focus on it when I was younger. Maybe I’d have stuck at kick boxing for longer and got better at it as a result.

I can’t rewind time. And life involves a degree of experimentation. But I think I’d have benefited from having a greater appreciation of my physical potential at an earlier age.
What will your myDNA Fitness Report reveal about you?

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