“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within...”
Romans 12:2

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Hilary's Desk

Sucking eggs - exercise fights the flab

Hilary Butler - Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Geneticists just love clamouring about how genes cause everything from obesity, to disease to cancer. Anyone with an ounce of commonsense knows that that’s not the whole story. So when the Herald runs a story which shows why Amish people with the gene which makes other people fat, don’t get fat, it’s a reason to celebrate.

So how come they don’t get fat?

They actually use their bodies every day, in cleaning, gardening, riding horses, and doing lots of physical activity.

Now what a revolutionary idea, don’t you think?

Actually it’s another example of “sucking eggs”, and proving that grandma knows best. The basic things matter. Our bodies are designed to be used.

To not use them sensibly and regularly is tantamount to “asking” for trouble.

There is another word which readers need to become familiar with, and that is epigenetics. Epigenetics means that our genes are controlled by what we believe, what we do, what toxins we are exposed to and what happens around us. Genes do not control life, because genes cannot turn themselves on, or off. Genes are not “self emergent”. Genes turn on, off or change, solely in response to an action, inaction, toxin, food, drug, and… even… a thought!

Epigenetics is something I will be talking about a lot in days to come. It’s not a simple concept to understand, but it’s vital.

This article is a very very good example of epigenetics in action. The “obesity gene” is silent in the Amish, because their daily lives are “exercised”. And it’s as simple as that.

 

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