From the moment I began my journey in the health and fitness world, roughly 10 years ago, when prescribing a regime of exercise and healthy eating to a client I would start the process of what I called ‘personalization’ by asking 3 questions – what have you done in the past that has worked? What hasn’t worked? What do you enjoy? From there I would get an idea of the fitness history of my client and gain a small insight into what might work for us moving forward. Until very recently I continued to do the same thing, but there was always a problem that I had with this process. As best as I tried to personalized my prescriptions I knew in my heart that I was simply taking a shot and hoping for the best. I never felt bad about that because it was the best that any of us in the health and fitness industry could do and I always had my client’s best interests at heart.
In the last 10 years we have seen an explosion of genetic testing and genetic science has become a huge industry. We can now assess someone for their risk of all manner of disease based on their genetic information by finding out if they carry a certain gene – the breast cancer gene being one that most people are aware of. This is obviously a very good thing in the world of disease prevention – early detection is the key. But since our genes are our body’s instruction manual for how we run and operate it was hard not to wonder if our genes could also tell us how we should exercise, eat, sleep, socialize, work and play. Can our genes tell us, essentially, what we need to do and the type of life that we need to create to be as healthy, happy and well-functioning as possible, free of pain and disease?
It turns out, of course, that they can. And this is great news for us all, for the fairly straight-forward reasons. Not in the least it is great news for those of us in the world of health management (I broadly call anyone in the health industry such as an Exercise Physiologist, Personal Trainer, Dietitian, etc a health manager) because it is allowing us to take the guesswork out of our prescriptions for our clients. Yes – that means that we now have the ability to prescribe a fitness, eating and lifestyle program that is 100% specific and personalized to you.
This is an incredible step forward for us all because prior to this, as mentioned earlier, the best that we could ever do is ask a few questions, take a detailed history of your health and fitness and make an educated guess on what would work best for you going forward. If it didn’t work – which it probably didn’t – we’d make some changes along the way until we found the right fit. Often we’d get there, with a few stumbles, but a lot of times we didn’t and I take no shame in admitting that I have not been able to help every person that I have ever worked with to achieve what they wanted.
Going forward there is still no guarantee that we’ll be able to help everyone, even with the incredibly powerful information that we now have. The reason for that is that not everyone is absolutely ready to make the necessary changes to get to the place that they would like to be. Think of a smoker – for example. No one is under any illusions that smoking is good and every person that smokes that I have come in to contact with would like to stop. But ceasing a behavior, simply because it is not good for us and knowing it, is not always enough to cause us to stop. There are always underlying reasons for why we engage in certain behaviors and do the things we do. Getting to the point of understanding why we make poor health choices and really deciding that we’d like to make a change is still the most important step to take. Without taking this step, and remaining largely ambivalent about stopping a behavior, reduces the likelihood of you from altering that behavior. As such, coaching is the most important part of helping people towards their ideal health.
However, for the point of this blog, let’s assume that you are absolutely emotionally committed to making some serious changes to your life and the roadblocks have been removed. This is when things get really exciting. Using an extensive questionnaire and some very interesting measurements of your body shape we now have the power to gain an insight in to your body’s genetic composition. It is a brilliantly simple process that has taken nearly 2 decades to develop but we are finally here and it is the future of the health and fitness industry. We no longer need to guess the right exercise and food for you. We don’t need to wonder if that desk job is really ideal or if you need to sleep for 9 hours. We know those answers definitively now. If you would like to get the ball rolling on personalizing your health and fitness head to the following link and perform what is called the ‘health type test’ - https://healthtypetest.org/.
From there please contact me and I will explain what the information means and how we can start applying to your life right now. The future of health is here – the days of guessing are over.
Yours in Health.