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Genetics a game changer in getting New Zealanders fitter

July 11, 2017

The role of genetics, and how it relates to people’s nutrition, exercise and health is an absolute game changer when it comes to Kiwis improving their lives, according to The Exercise Association of New Zealand (ExerciseNZ) Chief Executive Richard Beddie.

The widely respected industry leader is mindful that while the science of genetics has been around for some time, the ability to measure it cheaply and easily is quite new. 

Beddie explains "only recently have we begun to understand how important genetics is when it comes to people’s health.

"No longer is science saying what is best for everyone but rather what is best for each person based on genetic make-up."

Health professionals and exercise professionals can now use tools to provide info on their client’s genetic make-up, and more importantly, what this means for their exercise, nutrition and general wellness needs.

“The key thing is understanding different genetic-types respond differently and have different needs. So we now have the tools so that exercise and nutrition can be structured for optimum health in a way that is most enjoyable, based on a person’s genetic make-up. 

“Some people are built for short-sharp bursts of energy and these same people respond well to a competitive environment. Some people, on the other hand, need slower strength based activities. There are others who prefer to work-out alone and they may respond well to light weights or yoga or moderate steady exercise.  

“We know that, if considered a sport, exercise continues to be the number one sport in New Zealand, having more participants than the rugby, netball and cricket combined.

“There are currently an estimated 550,000 members of gyms and exercise facilities alone. But exercise is now just one of the many components to wellness. Many providers of exercise now offer far more holistic products and services, from dietary advice, to stress management.

“Genetic profiling tools support this by proving detailed information that exercise professionals can then use to coach better health and wellness outcomes.  Research confirms all this.”

Beddie says one of the world experts in the genetic fitness approach, Dr Cam McDonald, last month toured New Zealand with ExerciseNZ, bringing the latest research and best implementation to more than 250 exercise professionals around the country.

He says no longer is science saying what is best for everyone but rather what is best for the individual, based on their genetic make-up. And not just that, what is best for one person right now may be different when they age. 

“So we see the need for genetics and timing to be optimal for a person to reach their best health. Health and exercise professionals can now use tools to provide information on their client’s genetic make-up and, more importantly, what this means for their exercise, nutrition and health,” Beddie says. 

ExerciseNZ is currently inviting applications for the 2017 New Zealand Exercise Industry Awards.

Click here for information on entering the Awards.

Image: ExerciseNZ's Richard Beddie.

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