Walk right for your meta­bolic type

Break­through sci­ence re­veals how choos­ing a strolling style right for your spe­cific DNA pro­file can boost calo­rie burn and speed ton­ing to help you slim in record time

First For Women - - Feel-Good File -

The tiny tweaks that will send your me­tab­o­lism soar­ing

When you lace up your sneak­ers and head out to your gym or neigh­bor­hood park for a slim­ming stroll, you might check your pulse to make sure your heart rate is in the ideal fat-melt­ing zone, or change up your pace to speed up calo­rie burn­ing. But chances are, you’ve never given your DNA a sec­ond thought. We hadn’t ei­ther… un­til we heard from Sharon Moalem, M.D., Ph.D., au­thor of The DNA Restart, that our genes hold the key to fast-track­ing ex­er­cise re­sults. “We all evolved in dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­ments and in­her­ited genes to match those en­vi­ron­ments,” ex­plains Dr. Moalem. “And just as our DNA de­ter­mines whether or not our skin burns in the sun, our best diet and ex­er­cise plan is ge­net­i­cally de­ter­mined. If you have cer­tain genes, you will ben­e­fit more—or less— from cer­tain types of ac­tiv­i­ties.”

Ge­netic sci­en­tists have iden­ti­fied three key genes that con­trol how the body re­sponds to ex­er­cise. The gene PPARA in­flu­ences mus­cle de­vel­op­ment and growth, while the genes ADRB2 and ADRB3 reg­u­late fat stor­age, the break­down of fat for fuel and the body’s stress re­sponse. “For each gene, in­di­vid­u­als can carry one of many vari­ants,” ex­plains Keith Grimaldi, Ph.D., chief sci­en­tific of­fi­cer at the ge­netic test­ing com­pany DNAFit. “Which vari­ant you carry in­flu­ences how you re­spond to ex­er­cise.” For in­stance, women with a gene vari­a­tion that makes them prone to de­velop fast-twitch mus­cle fibers might see bet­ter re­sults from an ex­er­cise pro­gram with high-in­ten­sity bursts, while women with the genes for slow-twitch mus­cles fibers re­spond bet­ter to steady-paced ex­er­cise.

Do­ing the “wrong” ex­er­cise for your spe­cific genes can stall weight loss. “If you go to a trainer or choose a ran­dom ex­er­cise pro­gram that’s not tai­lored to your genes, you may get frus­trated that a cer­tain type of ex­er­cise isn’t ef­fec­tive,” says Dr. Moalem. Case in point: When re­searchers at Queens Uni­ver­sity in Canada had sub­jects com­plete 30 min­utes of steady-paced ex­er­cise four times a week, 52 per­cent of par­tic­i­pants didn’t see any im­prove­ment in their aer­o­bic ca­pac­ity (a mea­sure of how ef­fi­ciently mus­cles use oxy­gen to break down fat for fuel) after three weeks—and some were ac­tu­ally found to be in worse shape than when they started.

Adopt a walk­ing ap­proach tai­lored to your genes, though, and wow! When the Queens Uni­ver­sity sci­en­tists had the “non-re­spon­ders” in the steady-paced group switch to a high-in­ten­sity sprint pro­gram, 100 per­cent of them saw re­sults.

And in a sep­a­rate study in the jour­nal Bi­ol­ogy of Sport, sub­jects who adopted an ex­er­cise pro­gram based on their genes lost 129 per­cent more body fat and 43 per­cent more belly fat than those on a stan­dard­ized fit­ness plan—plus, they saw three times greater gains in mus­cle growth and aer­o­bic ca­pac­ity. Those who com­pleted ge­netic-based work­outs also saw a 10 per­cent re­duc­tion in heart-harm­ing triglyc­erides and greater im­prove­ment in blood-su­gar con­trol. All told, these ef­fects are help­ing women who walk right for their DNA lose up to 11 pounds ev­ery week! To un­cover the plan that will help you whit­tle your waist­line, take the quiz be­low, then read on for your tar­geted walk­ing Rx.

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