Studies have found that genetics that come from your family not only affect your appearance, but also the type and effectiveness of sports that you can engage in. Knowing your own sports genes, you can use the traits to engage in sports that are more suitable for you. With acquired good training can make up for innate deficiencies and strengthen muscle memory.
Taipei, TAIWAN (Merxwire) – A research team from Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom found that genetics from the family not only affect your appearance and height, but also affect the type and effectiveness of sports you are suitable for. Through scientific research, they found 13 exercise-related genes to analyze the influence of genes on the effect of individual exercise. The results have been published on the British academic research website “The Conversation”.
Inheritance makes many differences in how each person looks, including your height, facial features, hair color, skin color, and chances of developing certain diseases, all of which are influenced by genetics. After conducting 24 related studies on more than 3,000 subjects, the researchers integrated a large amount of data to explore the association between genes and exercise types. The relationship between genes and exercise outcomes was also evaluated from the aspects of cardiopulmonary function and muscular endurance after exercise.
Exercise has many benefits for our bodies, including increased muscle strength, muscular endurance, cardiorespiratory fitness, and improved circulation and metabolism. The study found that regardless of the genes, people who exercised a week thrice and continuously for 12 weeks improved their health. So everyone can improve their physical fitness through exercise.
But when it comes to actual exercise, it does show differences due to genetics. The first major difference is the body’s “adaptability” to exercise. When we are exposed to a new sport, the body will adjust and change with the nature of the sport to improve the performance of the sport and prepare for the next time. Studies have found that the speed at which you adapt to the same exercise and the degree to which you improve your performance varies from person to person.
The second major difference was the effect of exercise on improving health. When two people spend the same amount of time doing the same exercise, there are obvious diversities in exercise results. The biggest difference in effectiveness is muscle strength, with a gap of about 10% or even greater than 10%, followed by cardiorespiratory endurance and exercise explosiveness, with an average gap of about 4%.
The Relationship between Genes and Exercise
Take the angiotensin-converting enzyme gene ACE as an example. ACE can be divided into two types, “ACE I” and “ACE D” In our body, it mainly delivers oxygen to the body tissues and is related to cardiopulmonary and aerobic exercise. Scientists have found that people with “ACE I” are better at doing endurance sports, such as marathons. People with “ACE D” can choose strength and explosive sports, such as ball games.
The average age of the subjects participating in this study was 28 years old, and they were divided into 89 groups, including 43 groups in the aerobic group, 17 groups in the strength group, and 29 groups in the endurance group. Of the 13 exercise-related candidate genes and other alleles the scientists identified, nine were related to cardiorespiratory endurance, six were related to muscle strength, and four were related to explosive power.
The results of the study found that 44% of the differences in aerobic exercise performance were genetically influenced. 72% of the differences in the performance of muscle strength-training exercises are genetic. Explosive strength or anaerobic exercise performance is minimally affected by genetics, about 10%. In addition to genetics, other factors that affect differences in test and exercise effects include diet, sleep, rest time, and lifestyle.
It can be seen that genes have a certain influence on the type and effect of exercise. Other scientific studies related to exercise genes have pointed out that if your genes contain the speed gene “ACTN3” that can provide strong explosive power and short-term high speed, it is usually considered to be a very suitable group for exercise. Many famous athletes have this gene, such as swimming genius Michael Phelps. If you have the endurance gene “IL-15Rα” related to the protein that controls muscle contraction in your genes, it means that you have better endurance and can exercise longer than others.
Some genes affect VO2Max, a value that represents the limit of a person’s ability to engage in aerobic exercise. Therefore, endurance athletes usually have extremely high VO2max values, indicating that they are very suitable for various aerobic sports, such as jogging, swimming, and cycling, which are sports that require a lot of oxygen.
Will some people are not born to like sports or are not suitable for sports? Scientists have found that if you are born with a lazy gene “Bdnf” related to obesity, you usually have a lower labor force and are easily tired, so you are likely unwanted to exercise and have less effect. It is recommended to start with the habit of regular exercise, choose some low-intensity, long-term exercise, and focus on endurance-oriented exercise, which can promote the growth of cells and tissues in the body, make you healthier, and also begin to have an interest in exercise.
Although genetics may have an impact on our exercise performance, it does not mean that having a certain gene is suitable or unsuitable for a certain type of exercise. It’s just a chance for you to know how to use your characteristics or strengthen the less effective parts of yourself while exercising, especially for professional athletes.
Acquired training will actually determine the performance of the muscles in the future. According to the 22nd annual congress of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS) in 2017, 25% to 40% of the difference in exercise performance is related to genes, mainly affecting energy operation, metabolism, and cell growth in the body. 60% to 75% are related to the environment. Good exercise training enhances genetic performance, which is also memorized in your muscles, increasing your athletic performance.
Therefore, no matter what genes exist in your body, it is recommended to maintain a good daily routine, nutritious eating habits, and regular exercise habits to make yourself healthier. At the same time, activate and store the memory of “getting stronger” in the muscles, and you will find fun in sports and strengthen your body.