'Nurture your DNA'
Managing your stress, exercising, taking time to relax, sleeping properly, having a purpose, feeling a sense of belonging and being part of a community, all count as good lifestyle choices.
Your lifestyle choices can have a positive or negative effect on your genetic expression. Research has shown that exercise can reduce your risk of cancers by 30-50%. That's huge! Can you walk versus driving or taking the lift? Can you stand versus sitting? Take a look at our standing desk options to keep you moving through your work day.
Exercise is medicine
When you exercise, try to raise your heart rate, increase your breathing rate and build a sweat. We love this initiative: Exercise is Medicine (EIM). EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity promotes optimal health, is integral in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions, and should be regularly assessed and included as part of standard healthcare.
Personalise exercise with DNA
We know that doing 30+ mins of movement, exercise or sport at least 5 days per week is good for all of us. If you want to personalise the type of exercise your genes are good at, take a look at the DNA | Sport and DNA | Diet tests.
We are all exposed to stress every day. We need to find ways manage it as best as possible. A great place to start is our free Stress Type Quiz. Take a look in our Nutrition and Lifestyle shops for great products to help nourish your adrenal glands and create the right atmosphere for you to relax and sleep.
Download meditation apps that remind you to pause in your day and guide you through beautiful meditations - some meditations are only 5 minutes but even 5 minutes can reduce your cortisol levels. Light a candle, take a bath before bed, be still, say 'No' more.
Your sleep hormone, melatonin, needs to remain in balance with your stress hormone, cortisol. In simplistic terms, you need about 12 hours of cortisol and 12 hours of melatonin. Light 'turns on' cortisol secretion and darkness 'turns on' melatonin secretion. When you expose your pineal gland in your brain to light after dark, cortisol continues to be secreted - this prevents melatonin from being secreted. The result: raised stress levels for longer.
Even the smallest bit of light from a nightlight, a street light, or a bedside clock LED, can prevent melatonin from being secreted fully. Melatonin has many incredible functions in the body including allowing your adrenal glands to rest and recharge, and acting as an estrogen blocker on estrogen-sensitive tissue. It's precious - nurture it! We now wear eye masks every night for complete darkness.
Go to be before 10pm, aim to sleep solidly through the night and wake refreshed.
Alcohol | Smoking | Drugs
Alcohol can negatively affect so many systems of your body. It can put pressure on your liver, slow your thyroid, poison to your mitochondria (tiny powerhouses in each cell in your body). We were surprised to find out that 1 unit of alcohol per woman per day is only around 175ml or wine - that's not even one cup!
Smoking causes detectable damage to your DNA and is a known carcinogen. Smoking, being exposed to smoke, eating smoked foods or heating foods to the point of smoking can generate oxidative stress and inflammation in your body. Both these states are involved in almost every lifestyle-related chronic disease.
When thinking about exposure to these toxins, don't think about the risks to everyone or of even becoming an addict. This might seem intangible and like it won't happen to you. Instead, think about your DNA - What toxins do you want to expose your DNA to? For how long over your lifetime? What are your genetic predispositions to the negative effects of toxins? How well do you detox genetically? Is your body more prone to oxidative stress and inflammation genetically? Is your ALDH2 gene (the enzyme that breaks down alcohol) spelt correctly so you can break down alcohol efficiently? These are all great reasons to do a DNA test and know more about your genes from as early as possible.
Strong networks | Relationships | Community | Purpose
Find purpose in what you do otherwise do something that does. Don't postpone joy! We are social animals. Nurture family relationships and friendships. They are also medicine!