Does Body Shape and Genetics Determine Your Overall Health and Fitness?

body shape, genetics

You hear people say it often that they have “bad genes”. That’s the typical lazy excuse that people make to justify their current state. But is it really just a lazy excuse? Or is it backed by science that people progress differently based on their genetic makeup and body shape?

Genetics determine how you look, and how your body is going to react on both your diet and exercise. Some are born to have the potential to become an Olympian, while others need to work twice as hard just to get 50% of the results.

Let’s look at it this way, if you are born with parents predisposed to cardiovascular conditions, most likely, you will also acquire this condition eventually. Unfortunately, this is something that you can’t control. A lot of times, genetics doesn’t work in our favor that you need to work harder just to stay healthy.

Body shape and your overall health?

body shape and genetics

Your body shape can predict what happens to your body’s health. It has the ability to determine risk for cardiovascular conditions and even your muscle mass. Pear-shaped individuals carrying weight on their thighs and backside are said to have a lower risk of having high blood pressure and heart disease than those with an apple-shaped body. An apple-shaped body is characterized by fats concentrated in the abdomen.

According to studies, the amount of visceral fats can affect your overall cardiovascular health condition. Those with apple-shaped bodies are more prone to having fats around their waist. Women with a waist over 35 inches and men with a waist over 40 inches are greatly predisposed to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart conditions.

BMI and waist can also determine your body’s risk for cardiovascular conditions. BMI more than 24.9 leaves you more prone to having cardiovascular conditions. If you divide your waist by your hip measurement and you get more than 0.9, you are also at risk of getting cardiovascular condition.

Genetics and exercise results

Do you ever wonder why there are people who can get away with eating junk foods but still have nice abs at the end of the day? That’s because genetics also play a role in how each of our bodies develops even after exercise.

In a study, one in six people is predisposed to having little to no benefit from exercise. A test developed by Dr. Jamie Timmons, professor of systems biology at Loughborough University, managed to isolate the genes responsible for the body’s ability to adapt to aerobic exercise.

In this study, Jamie Timmons was able to determine how the body efficiently transports oxygen into the muscles. The findings showed that there’s a population that will not show any improvement no matter how hard they do running exercises.

Fight bad genes?

body shape and genetics

For a lot of people, their genetics is already a death sentence. In reality, it shouldn’t be. It may sound like an impossible task, but your diet and exercise can potentially counter the negative genetic traits that your body was pre-programmed with. Certain fitness activities, diet, and supplementation can be used to make the body healthy.

But if you are going to fight your bad genes, consider it as a difficult task ahead that requires both hard work and a smart approach. According to Jamie Timmons, it has been suggested that maladaptation of the body could be coming from the wrong form of exercise or regimen.

The right workout

A regular workout can help reduce chances of obesity brought by body shape and genetics. American College of Sports  Medicine recommends having 30 minutes of activity a day on most days of the week in order to help fight the effects of the FTO gene, a gene associated with obesity.

However, it helps if you have the right kind of workout. Building on large muscle groups of the body can help change this. Working on your leg muscles can drastically help increase your body’s testosterone level allowing you to build more muscles, and cut body fats.

Among the popular exercises that can help spike testosterone include squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and Olympic lifts such as cleans and swings. 85% to 95% of your one rep max makes the ideal weight for these workouts. You also want to do 2-3 times of full body weight lifting workouts in a week in order to see the best results.

Good diet topple bad genes

body shape and genetics

If you’ll ask the health experts, they’ll tell you that the secret to six-pack abs and a healthy body is your diet. In fact, it is true that abs are made from the kitchen. And over the years, people commit the mistake of going after different workouts without correcting their diets.

How much food should you be eating? It is important that you moderate the amount of food that you eat especially in every meal. It is better that you eat six small meals than to stick with three large meals. This helps your metabolic rate to spike up.

What are foods that you should be eating?

body shape, genetics

Calorie counting works in dropping your weight. However, it doesn’t mean that you are losing body fats. There is a chance that controlling the body’s calories alone can be counterproductive. If you are losing muscle mass or eating unhealthy foods, you can even expect your fitness level to drop. It means that you still have to pick the right type of food in order to fight bad genes.

Protein is probably the most in demand macronutrient today. It has been peddled in the fitness industry over the years, known to provide shortcut results. What protein does is to help the body develop muscles especially after a workout.

There are a lot of protein-rich food options that you can go for if you are serious about gaining muscles, or even just developing the body with an athletic built.  Chicken breast, beef, and salmon are some of the best options that you can include in your daily meals to gain muscle mass.

CLA and burning belly fats

Supplements also help in the process of developing the body. CLA, for instance, can help the body get rid of fats. CLA is naturally found in free range beef but has reduced significantly due to modern farming practices. In this case, you can always just stick to the supplements.

CLA helps in burning visceral body fats which can help reduce the risk of having cardiovascular conditions and diabetes.


It is true that genetics and our overall body shape will have an impact on our fitness level. Just by looking at our body shape, it is possible to predict where the fats are concentrated. This way, you can be careful on what you eat and be more active in your workouts.

Though some people will get more results by doing less than you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything. In fact, it is even more important that you take your workouts and nutrition more seriously than others.

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