Several years ago, I received a tiny plastic test tube in my mailbox, so naturally, I spit in it and put it back in the mail. No, this was not an elaborate practical joke, I was actually submitting my DNA to a testing service called 23andMe.
A few weeks later, I received a report telling me all about myself, based on what they found in my genes that were contained in that saliva I put in the mail. There was information about my ancestry, my hair and eye color, some of my health predispositions and risks, and even what percentage of me is directly linked to Neanderthals (more than I would care to admit, to be honest).
As exciting and fun as that was, I didn’t really find much in the way of actionable information in that report. I already knew that my family was predominantly Eastern European and that I had blue eyes and runny earwax. I was relieved to find out that I am not at increased risk of macular degeneration or Alzheimer’s, but in the end, once I had read the reports (and shared them with my sister, since they are likely relevant to her as well) I pretty much went on with my life as usual.
As a fitness and movement professional, I was aware of the growing market in DNA testing as it pertains to fitness. I often considered signing up for services such as DNAFit and FoundMyFitness. Would DNA testing lend any additional or helpful information? I was skeptical until I heard Dr. Dan Reardon MB ChB, BSc, co-founder and CEO of FitnessGenes, speak at a wellness conference in Los Angeles this spring. After hearing his presentation, I took a closer look into his company and what it had to offer me as someone who is focused on being (and staying) fit and healthy.