5 Paths to Optimum Wellness

Daily habits that can make a real difference.


a healthy and fit woman.

(Ruslan Ivantsov / Shutterstock.com)

While you can’t change the genes you inherit, you can change their impact on your health. Nutrition, exercise, stress levels, social connections are all of these lifestyle habits which influence which genes “turn on”. According to Psychology Today, it’s a recent breakthrough in medicine called epigenetics. 

Research published in Oxford Scholarship Online explains that genes are programmed and can be switched on and off by epigenetic mechanisms. This programming shapes the way genes function in different organs of the body at different times in life.

You’ve heard the phrase, “nature versus nurture”. Sure, your genes determine a lot when it comes to your health. But that’s only half of the story. Even when an illness runs in the family, you don’t have to sit back and accept your fate. Your daily routine regulates your gene expression. Thanks to epigenetics, you can lead a healthy life with the right daily habits.

Get Exercise
Regular physical exercise not only keeps you strong, but it can also improve epigenetic outcomes. A study published in Lifestyle Genomics found that strength training could induce changes in pathways associated with cardiovascular health, energy metabolism, and insulin sensitivity. You don’t have to be a muscle builder to benefit. Lower impact strength exercises, like pushups, free weights, yoga, and pilates, will do the trick!

Good Nutrition

Food affects your gene expression in a big way. Research from Biosocieties discovered that fueling your body with the right nutrition helps to prevent adult-onset diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Another undefined published in Clinical Epigenetics found that foods like apples, eggs, broccoli, garlic, and green tea may protect against genetic disorders caused by pollution. 

A simple approach: eat minimally processed whole foods close to their state in nature. Avoid artificial and synthetic ingredients like added sugars, starches, flavorings, or other manufactured ingredients. 

Healthy Supplements
Your body functions at its best when it gets the right vitamins and minerals. Although eating the right foods will provide many essential nutrients, you may need to supplement your diet. 

A study published in Nature Genetics found that vitamin supplements enhance remodeling of the cellular epigenome. In other words, you’ll get even more health benefits by taking the right supplements, providing the missing puzzle pieces for a healthy life.

You may need more vitamin D, if you live in colder, seasonal climates and don’t spend enough time outside. Vegetarians and vegans often supplement their diets with B12 or iron. Your doctor can help recommend supplements for you through a simple blood test. 

Better Sleep

Unfortunately, millions of people suffer from sleep disorders, which can disrupt the expression of metabolic genes as well as lead to heart disease, stroke, or high blood pressure. According to Neuroscience News, lack of sleep can impact you on a cellular level. 

The good news? You can avoid many of these illnesses simply by getting enough Zzz’s. Get more rest by unplugging devices before bed, sticking to a regular sleep schedule, and avoiding caffeine late in the day.

Stress management

Stress induces persistent, functional changes in your body on the cellular level, according to The Conversation. So consider stress management a top priority when it comes to your health. You can keep stress at bay through meditation, exercise, creative outlets, and enough down time.

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