Most of us have at least one heritable trait we are proud of. For me, it's my red hair. I didn't always appreciate this 'genetic mutation' in grade school, but it did help me catch my husband - who once said he would never marry a redhead. Or, maybe he was attracted to my sweet temperament :)!
While we are most certainly stuck with our hair color from birth, and our adult height can be influenced only slightly through optimal lifestyle behaviors during our growing years, nearly all the gene expression that influences health and longevity can be manipulated and optimized through complementary lifestyle behaviors.
My clients are hopeful to learn that we all have the ability to turn on "good" genes that help us build muscle, increase fat burning, knock out an invading virus, and neutralize the oxidative damage to cells that affect general health, vitality, and longevity.
Keep reading to learn how your lifestyle choices can optimize your "good" genes to build a strong, lean, fit, healthy, happy YOU.
YOU REALLY CAN REPROGRAM YOUR GENES
Genes work the same in everyone when it comes to how we breathe air, pump blood through our circulatory system, digest food, or become tan (and manufacture vitamin D) through sun exposure. The particulars of our familial genes influence whether, for example, the food we eat is burned for energy or stored as fat, or how much sun exposure is required to become tan, or burned!
Genes throughout your body are constantly working, orchestrating the building of critical protein structures and enzyme pathways and repairing, regenerating, and sometimes even destroying your cells based on the signals they get from their immediate environment.
You can turn these gene switches on or off with signals that you provide based on the foods you eat, the types of exercise you do (or don't do), your sleeping habits, sun exposure, and many other factors.
For example, consuming omega-3-rich foods or supplements activates anti-inflammatory genes. Consuming sugar deactivates immune system genes and interferes with the cellular uptake of vitamin C4, leading to compromised immune function for several hours after consuming a meal high in sugar.
Genes don't know or care whether these environmental signals promote or compromise your health; they simply react to each stimulus in an effort to promote your immediate survival.
For example, the development of type 2 diabetes is merely the body doing what it is supposed to do over and over again until it finally becomes exhausted. Excess glucose in the bloodstream is toxic and can become life-threatening in a short time, so pumping out insulin after the consumption of thousands of sodas, cereal bowls, and pasta over decades is the body's valiant, and desirable, effort to ensure short-term survival.
Prescription drugs are designed to manipulate gene expression by overriding natural mechanisms to act directly upon the genes associated with the condition being treated. This can generate dramatic short-term results, without accounting for the long-term adverse health implications.
Adverse lifestyle practices such as eating a high-carbohydrate diet, chronic exercise patterns, and insufficient sleep promote systemic inflammation, or chronic inflammation, resulting in undesirable gene expression and mutation. Many health and medical experts believe that inflammation is the root of all disease. Unlike acute inflammation, which is a critical element of optimal immune function, systemic inflammation sets the stage for an assortment of health conditions and serious diseases.
THOSE GENES LOOK SO GOOD ON YOU!
It can be extremely empowering to realize that one can overcome predispositions for excess body fat, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and other health problems simply by reprogramming genes in the direction of health.
Using the sciences of epigenetics (how environment affects gene expression) and nutrigenomics (how nutrition affects gene expression) Primal Living focuses on the optimal ancestral lifestyle behaviors that we can control that influence our day-to-day and long-term health:
Healthy foods; frequent movement; regular brief, intense strength and sprint efforts; adequate sun exposure, sleep and leisure time.
IN AS LITTLE AS 21 DAYS YOU CAN:
This is the case no matter how much excess body fat you carry or how many times you have failed with past weight-loss efforts.
While some may require more time and diligence than others, you can find sustainable health with the Primal diet, exercise, and lifestyle practices. If you are dealing with stubborn fat, low energy, or disease risk factors, working one-on-one with a health coach can teach you how to use what your Momma gave you to benefit your health and wellness!
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