To reach and maintain maximum health, doctors recommend leading a healthy lifestyle.
Making healthy choices is a long-term commitment to yourself to working towards preventing or delaying serious health complications and in giving yourself the energy and ability to do the things you love in life.
Being armed with more information may make adopting healthy choices easier. For example, understanding why you may be prone to being overweight, or why a certain type of exercise doesn’t give you results, may help promote a more compassionate viewpoint towards yourself, keeping you motivated and confident in your choice to lead a healthy life.
Companies like Pathway Genomics are giving people the option to have more information about their health through genetic nutrition testing. When working with a healthcare provider, the results of these tests allow your doctor to construct nutrition and exercise plans that best fit your personal needs. These tests can help you with the following lifestyle objectives:
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is important for the healthy function of the body and its organs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 35 percent of adults in the U.S. are obese. Being overweight or obese increases your chances of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, gallstones, and even certain types of cancer. Being underweight can also cause damage to your health, and may contribute to the weakening of your immune system, fatigue, and fragile bones.
Using information derived from a genetic profile, doctors can plan realistic weight loss and weight gain goals for patients based on their metabolism, their propensity for being overweight, how efficiently their body loses weight, and how likely they are to gain weight back after losing it.
Eating a Well-Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet provides your body with the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs to perform all functions as intended. Poor nutrition puts individuals at an increased risk of infection, disease, fatigue, and poor mental and physical performance.
Some people may be prone to low levels of certain vitamins and minerals or may require more than typical due to genetic factors. Understanding which vitamin and mineral deficiencies are relevant to you will help your doctor or registered dietitian put together a proper meal plan tailored to your needs, allowing you to obtain optimal health.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate, aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week or at least 25 minutes a day of vigorous, aerobic activity for at least 3 days a week. Exercise affects multiple functions in our bodies, including insulin sensitivity, HDL cholesterol levels, loss of body fat, blood pressure, and BMI.
You may be wondering which type of exercise is best for you: endurance or strength? Our genes can also give us insight into how our bodies respond to different types of physical activity. Your doctor will help you understand if a specific type of exercise and level of physical activity is right for you.
Getting Started With Healthy Habits
Always work with your doctor or registered dietitian before changing your eating habits or starting a new exercise routine. When making significant changes to your lifestyle choices, starting with smaller goals, in addition to finding support within a community of people with the same goals, may help you stay on track.