Fitness is Only About You

family tree

Believe it or not, your family tree impacts your fitness routine.

I'm of Irish, English, and Norwegian descent ... This means I don't tan well. I'll freckle, turn red, peel, but tanning isn't really an option for me. I'm fine with this, especially since they've started cranking out SPF-50 and up lotions.

What does my heritage have to do with fitness? Just as my skin tone is a combination of my ancestry, so is what works to keep me fit. My fabulous friend Liz Dialto called this "Bio-Individuality" yesterday and I thought that was a great, great name for it. What is bio-individuality? The heritage of your DNA. What you do with that heritage is entirely up to you. If you honor it, you can expect to live a healthy, energetic life. If you ignore it, stuff's gonna start to happen. Here's the kinda cool thing: I recently saw on the Discover Channel that humans share 99% of the exact same DNA, so it's that 1% that makes us different from each other. But we have to respect that 1%. I think it's all rather cool. My Nordic roots mean I'm more likely to carry the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk, thereby making me less likely to be lactose intolerant. (I don't seem to be, but I've never been tested.) It also seems my fat is distributed more in my abdomen and hips, something my grandmother called my "German birthing hips." Yes, I've got some German in me too. I'm sure you're as aware of your family history as I am. A Roman nose perhaps, those Spanish Eyes, etc. Perhaps it's something your family discusses regularly and something you pass onto your children. I'm always telling my son he'll be tall because all the men in my family are six feet plus for instance. My point being, there is no one diet or fitness plan that will work for all of us. It doesn't exist. A diet that works for me may not work well for you and vice versa. Perhaps a fitness plan that you love will be anathema to me. It doesn't matter, it's all good. We, as individuals, need to find what works for us and us alone. Fitness is only about you. What works for you. If a friend is trying something and it appeals to you, try it. If it works, great. If it doesn't, just try something else. Eventually you'll find a combination of foods, exercise, rest, and play that put you in a happy place. When you get there, please acknowledge your accomplishment. It's not all that easy to do! Let me know what you think about your own fitness and health journey and what truths you've discovered for yourself. I'd love to hear them. Cheers, Lisa

photo credit: Tiffany Terry


About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.


2 Responses to Fitness is Only About You

  1. Sandi February 28, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Agreed. we are all individuals. What works for one may not work for others. When it comes to fitness, just do it for yourself.

  2. Jo March 9, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    Great article. Being asian and caucasian descent, I assimilate rice much better than my caucasian friends and I can handle a diet much higher in sugary carbs and lower protein than them too. It has allowed me more variety on my diet that they envy me for. At least, I’d like to think it is because of my asian genetics.

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