Gene Mapping and Its Importance in Sports – Let's Be Outdoorsy

Gene Mapping and Its Importance in Sports

I used to be a relay runner, also the captain of Kabaddi and kho-kho teams in school. But now, as an adult I don’t pursue a sport anymore. Had I known then about the sporting gene, maybe I would have played on. Here’s a low down about this new age science test for sports.

How Do You Select a Sport?

Have you ever given a thought as to which sport is suitable for your body? I guess you must be thinking I am asking a lame question. But this is very important for a person to know. This question can be answered by your sporting gene. This sport gene is one of the factors responsible for your performance in a sport along with training and the right environment. Mapping of these genes gives a clear idea of which sport works for you.Let's Be Outdoorsy - The Sporting Gene

What’s Gene Mapping

Do you remember going for career counselling sessions in college? Getting a genome test done is kind of the same.

I spoke with Dharti Adiya a genetic counselor from Map My Genome. She shared with me the process of gene mapping. A generic test called Genomepatri is conducted wherein a person’s gene is tested on 16 panels. “We can pick and choose from the 16 panels that include brain, heart, lifestyle diseases, immune system deficiencies, sports, skin, hair etc.” Map My Genome is a molecular diagnostic company making people proactive about their health.

I continued with my question, “This covers overall mapping, what about sports? For example, it’s been a long time since I have pursued a sport. How can I know that I can build strength for it or not? She answered, “Yes, for sports we have a test called Smart Sport which includes testing of ACTN3 gene. Based on that we come to know about the fast twitch muscles and slow twitch muscles, the ratio of which is very important in determining what kind of activities you are suited to. Somebody might be more apt for a sprint instead of a marathon. So based on that we give the list of activities that are you well suited for. That doesn’t mean you cannot do better in the other sport, but it’s the genetic advantage that you can capitalize on.”

This is a great way to gauge the sport that a child can take up too. You may want your child to take up football, but what if he or she is made for chess? This test will help you guide your child better too.

Age No Bar

From the first day of birth,anyone can undergo these tests as your genes remain constant through your lifetime. There is no age bar either. “At the age of 30, I want to start training fora triathlon. I can do the test, figure out from the test what is my strength and which sport is suitable for me and change my training plan accordingly. Is that correct?Diipti asked. “Yes, that’s correct. Everybody has fast and slow twitch muscle fibers. It’s the ratio of that,that determines which sport is better suited for you. If you want to go for a marathon and the tests say you are good at sprints doesn’t say you can’t go for a marathon.”Said Dharti.

But international experts say that this test is not a necessity. Tomithy Caulfield, a Canada Chair in Health Law & Healthcare in an article in the National Centre for Biotechnology Information mentions, “Some great athletes rise above their mediocre genetic allotment and still excel. Yes, to be a truly great athlete, to compete in the Olympic Games, you have to have the genes, but they are on the tail end of the bell curve.” So it is not Set in Stone that one should go for gene mapping. Therefore, Gene Mapping is one of the newer technologies which help you decide.

Let's Be Outdoorsy - The Sporting Gene

Now you know what you need to do to find the sport that will work for you. If you love sports but have been in doubt as to what to pursue or want to take up sports again but can’t choose, a sport gene mapping might be a good way to know what sport will work for you.

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