Very much so! Studies have shown that simple changes in sleep, eating and exercise habits can have a huge affect on how the genes in our body function.
Today we know a lot more about the epigenome—all the factors that control how a gene is expressed. Rather than some inescapable destiny dictated in your DNA, think of your genes in this area more like a bunch of switches in your body. Genes may decide which switches are present, but our environment and subsequent living habits are what really decide to flip the switch or not.
When it comes to obesity, one specific gene in question is named FTO. Studies have found that it can be silenced by exercise.
And this is not revolutionary news! Studies have shown numerous ways in which we can lower our risk for cancer, heart disease, and improve our health simply by living a healthy lifestyle that turns off harmful genes, turns on healthy ones, and leaves dormant harmful genes alone.
In the end, the most important thing to understand is that we have control over our health to a very large degree. While genes may make some of us more predisposed to gain weight, it’s our diet, exercise and sleep habits that ultimately decide what happens. We can make the most, or the least, of whatever genetics we are born with.
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