Does Your DNA Give You A Running Start?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017. Author Geraldine Campbell

The number one New Year’s resolution made year in and year out is to ‘Lose Weight’. Many will approach this goal by looking to their diet. And others will also consider taking up some form of physical activity (ideally, you should do both!). One of the most effective forms of exercise for weight loss is running.

We all know what running is and most of us know it will make us healthier. But there are also many more benefits from this inexpensive and easily accessible activity!

Some benefits of running are well-known:

  • Improved cardiovascular health reducing your risks of disorders such as high blood pressure
  • Strengthens bones and joints
  • Burns calories like there’s no tomorrow
  • Improves your metabolic health. It improves insulin sensitivity –FitnessGenes gives you a score based on your genetic and lifestyle information.
  • Weight loss

A less well-known benefit is the effect running has on your brain. A recent study found a dose-response relationship between endurance running participation and the connectivity strength within the frontal cortex of the brain. This area of the brain is responsible for decision making, planning and the ability to switch attention between tasks. The endurance athletes investigated in this study could complete these types of tasks more effectively compared to sedentary control group. This is good news for men who usually get told they can’t multi-task – take up running and soon you’ll be able to master the elusive skill!

These cognitive benefits are not just limited to running. Even moderate intensity walking has been shown to induce improvements in cognitive functioning. If you’re new to exercise, walking is a great way to start your health and fitness journey. Why wouldn’t you take up it?

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