Lately, the word genetics can be found almost daily in the media.

Science is proving that the answer for most things lies in your DNA – from gauging the potential for diseases to predicting drug intolerances, cholesterol levels, weight loss, and even, wrinkle development.

Therapies are being targeted for specific purposes, based on the individual’s genes.

Since you cannot run away from your DNA, you should work with it to enhance your wellbeing.

That’s the premise behind The Blood Type Workout, a fitness programme that promises fast, long- lasting results by following the workout plan and diet best suited for your blood type.

“Blood type is a powerful genetic fingerprint, and there is a chemical reaction to the food you eat, your workouts, and your blood. When you follow a generic programme that is one-size-fits-all, you’re never going to tap into your genetic potential,” states naturopath Joseph Christiano, author of Blood Types, Body Types, And You, and co-creator of The Blood Type Workout.

According to fellow naturopath Dr Peter D’Adamo, regarded as one of the major pioneers of the blood-type diet revolution, your blood type is very important and needs to be considered when thinking about food, fitness and rest.

Dr D’Adamo, who wrote the original book Eat Right For Your Type, says each blood type has evolved over the centuries, and therefore, has different reactions to the food you eat and the types of exercise you do.

Basically, there are four different types of blood – O, A, B and AB, with each carrying its own genetic blueprint.

“There had to be a reason why there were so many paradoxes in dietary studies and disease survival, why some people lose weight and others do not on the same diet, or why some people keep their vitality as they age, and others do not,” writes Dr D’Adamo.

His research in anthropology, medical history and genetics led him to conclude that blood type is “the key that unlocks the door to the mysteries of health, disease, longevity, physical vitality and emotional strength”.

With the blood type road map, he says these plans can now “correspond to your exact biological profile” and “the dynamic natural forces within your own body”.

Here’s the low down of the types as researched by Dr D’Adamo:

Type O

Apparently, you’re the luckiest of the lot since your genetic make-up most closely resembles the caveman.

Your type fares best with high intensity exercises such as running, plyometrics, interval training, martial arts and Spartan races.

Exercising is seen as an emotional outlet and you use it as a mood booster to fight stress and anxiety.

You can also lower your stress levels quickly and dramatically by simply relaxing and imagining a pleasant scene for 30 minutes.

Animal protein diets are well suited to you, but you tend not to digest dairy products and grains. The leading reason for weight gain among type Os is the gluten found in wheat products, and to a lesser extent, lentils, corn, kidney beans and cabbage.

Type A

Unlike Type O, intense exercise only increases your cortisol (stress hormone) levels, leading to muscle fatigue and exhaustion.

Your movements are slower as your DNA resembles that of ancient farmers – they move slowly to plant their crops. Just watch the paddy planters!

This doesn’t mean you’re lazy, but what you need is something calm like yoga, tai chi or pilates to kick-start your day and keep your stress hormones in check.

These people should be vegans and fare best with foods that are fresh, pure and organic.

Type B

You prefer moving in herds, like your nomadic ancestors. Similarly, moderate group exercises such as low impact aerobics, strength training, tennis, swimming, hiking and cycling agree with you best.

Type Bs have a robust immune system and a tolerant digestive system, and tend to resist many of the severe chronic degenerative illnesses, or at least survive them better than the other blood types.

Since you have a high allergy threshold, you can tolerate most foods.

Type AB

You are a combination of types A and B, and the most biologically complex.

For this group, a combination of the exercises for types A and B works best. You need the high intensity to bust your pent-up anger, and calming, centred activities to wind down.

In addition to eating fresh fruits, veggies and wholegrains, you’ll shed the calories by cutting back on red meat, and adding dairy to your diet.

What’s right for you?

Based on these naturopaths’ theories, I’ve been exercising wrong my whole life!

That explains why I’ve yet to acquire the right curves in places that matter.

While there are no clinical studies to support these claims, some people have seen amazing results. However, you should still perform certain types of activities that you enjoy and have fun in the process.

If all that doesn’t mould your targeted body shape, then you can blame it on your genetic make-up.

There’s nothing more you can do.

Period.


The writer is a certified fitness trainer who tries to battle gravity and continues to dance, but longs for some bulk and flesh in the right places. For further information, please e-mail starhealth@thestar.com.my.