How understanding your genes could help you fit back into those jeans!
There are many ways you could structure your exercise and nutrition every week. But most of us just want to follow an easy plan that's accessible, realistic and delivers, right?
Firstly, for the best results it really depends on what your health & fitness profile is:
1. What is your goal? Is it weight loss or gain, muscle building, toning, power or energy?
2. Attitude. How much time and effort are you willing to commit to it?
3. Time. How much time can you realistically commit to it? ( work, kids, social, life! )
4. Preference. What exercise do you most like and dislike?
5. State. How would you rate your current health and fitness level?
6. AND interestingly enough, what is your blood type?
Most of us mums just want to gain our strength back, be comfortable in our clothes/swimwear again and feel amazing physically and mentally. Not too much to ask is it? In addition, we have to find the time to achieve all this in an already busy schedule. I know I’ve often screamed “.. someone just tell me what to do!!… “! Here’s a way you could do it.
I’m fascinated by the blood type. I’ve read books and tried out the advice on myself and my family. Not always easy when I’m a type A and my husband is the total opposite to me as type B. Every single person is different for a variety of reasons, not just blood type. However, there is two generations of research behind the findings of how types of food, exercise and stress management can be packaged differently to help boost health and fitness for blood groups generalised into Type O, A, B and AB.
We all know nutrition and exercise go hand in hand if you want to see a real positive change in your energy, body composition and state of mind. We hear things like it’s 80% nutrition, 20% exercise, and in most part, in my experience I believe this to be true. What does this really mean to us average, everyday busy people, and what can I tell you now that might make a positive impact on your health & fitness profile right now?
As a type A myself, being a busy mum managing 2 young boys, a career and all the busy things that life throws at me, I have found a few tricks that have enabled me to take a huge leap to get fit and healthy quickly, and in the limited time available each day. But I have to note, I don't believe in depriving myself from the foods and exercise I love or prefer. I’m definitely more mindful about what I eat and why, and how to best move my body. But if I want to eat chocolate, drink wine and sit on the couch watching boxsets, then I’ll do it, just not every day! Beating myself up achieves nothing, life is too short.
Firstly, all blood groups benefit from high intensity short workouts to build strength, steady cardiotype exercise to build a strong heart, and relaxation type exercise to lengthen muscles and create mindfulness. Knowing your blood type can help decipher what to focus on to help relieve stress in the body and build a strong foundation to ward off disease! I find this stuff fascinating.
There are a 1000 ways you could structure your exercise schedule, but many of us would benefit from this simple structure example:
Try doing some form of exercise that increases your heart rate 5 times a week. Start with 3 days a week and build up to it if you like. For example:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: high intensity type workouts ( HIIT, Tabata ) ranging from 5-15mins ( these short workouts are very effective ) or weight training which could be 30mins -1hr
Tuesday, Thursday: steady cardio ( swimming, cycling, running ) session ranging from 30mins - 45mins, or longer
Saturday, Sunday : stretch and relax or rest ( yoga, ti chi, stretching, walking )
Here is a ‘generalised’ simplified summary: 2 tips that might help you shape your exercise and nutrition each week.* Summarised from a book I love by Dr. Peter J, D Adamo “Eat Right for Your Type”
Type O ( many of my friends! )
1. Thrives on intense exercise and animal protein! Cut out or reduce dairy and gluten now, it's like putting the wrong fuel in your car. I have worked with loads of O’s lately, and most interestingly they have had common constipation problems. If you suffer as well, add flaxseed, prunes, figs into your diet and drink a lot more water, and of course cut out dairy and gluten. All types of wine are ok for you. Woo hoo!
2. Exercise like running, spinning, aerobics, HIIT, weight training etc are all great for you. Per week, you could aim to do 2-3 steady cardio sessions ( min 30mins ) and 3-4 short 5min-15min HIIT workouts.
Type A ( me )
1. Flourish on vegetarian diets, best to eat food in it’s natural state as much as possible. Cut out or reduce red meat, dairy and wheat. Aim for plant based proteins but chicken, eggs and fish are good. Avoid chickpeas, they might give you a sore tummy. ( I know this is the case for me, but not all A’s ). Red wine very beneficial. Phew, that’s lucky!!!
2. Types A’s respond well to calmer more controlled mental engagement types of exercise like yoga, cycling, swimming, walking. Per week, you could aim to do 2 or more steady cardio sessions ( min 30mins ), 1-2 stretching type exercises, 2 high intensity workouts ranging from 5-15mins
Type B ( my husband! )
1. Thrives on red meat, dairy and eggs! Personally, I’d love to be a B because I love all these foods! Cut out or reduce wheat, chicken and prawns as they are not good for B’s. Green tea extremely good for you, also red and white ok.
2. Type B’s respond well to a mix of high intensity and grounding exercises. Per week, you could aim for 3 steady cardio ( min 30mins ) like cycling, aerobics, swimming, 2 high intensity like martial arts, tennis, HITT ranging from 5mins - 30mins and 2 more controlled type exercises like yoga.
Type AB ( rare! )
1. Mixed inheritance of the A and B genes. Cut out or reduce wheat and red meat, but dairy is actually ok for you! Like B's replace chicken with turkey and like A’s, avoid chickpeas too. Green tea again extremely good for you, white and red ok!
2. Type ABs are exactly like type As. aim for more mindful and controlled mental engagement types of exercise like yoga, cycling, swimming, walking. Per week, you could aim to do 2 or more steady cardio sessions ( min 30mins ), 1-2 stretching type exercises, 2 high intensity workouts ranging from 5-15mins
Pork is said to be not good for all types. There goes that bacon sarnie! Boo.
Most distilled spirits aren’t great for any types either. Lager tends to be mostly neutral for all also.
But it’s fascinating to see how we might apply this to improve the long term health of our kids too knowing this from the beginning, right? It certainly intrigues me. But like I said earlier, I can’t say I stick to this religiously, nor do I go out of my way to cook specifically for my kids, it does however make me more mindful about what I'm eating and feeding my family, and why.
If you want to know more details behind all this, I would recommend reading the book! It's fascinating as it delves into the evolution and how your blood type metabolises certain foods. I've said it before though, every single person is different, so this is a generalised view. But for me, I’ve found it to be incredibly powerful, true and effective. There is also DNA testing which is very specific to the individual. DNAfit.com is one that I've found recently to be super informative!
Interesting stuff huh? Give it a go if you fancy and let me know if you feel any difference in your heath, energy and fitness progress by making some adjustments. Would love to hear your thoughts, please comment below!
And if you want help, I have helped many clients achieve their health goals through being mindful about nutrition, exercise.. and cleansing the body of toxins (but that’s another story!). Please contact me if you want to know more about how I can help you, no matter where you are in the world!