One of the longest-running arguments of all time has to be that of nature versus nurture. Do our biological and genetic predispositions have more impact on our lives than the influences from our environment and learning?
As a health coach in London, it is clear to me that both have a role to play when it comes to our health and wellbeing.
Nature Affects Our Genes
Our genetic makeup can affect the diseases and health conditions that we develop.
This is clearly a case of nature impacting on our lives. Diseases such as sickle cell anaemia are directly genetically inherited and nurture has no impact on whether or not we develop them.
However, nurture does have a major affect on other elements of our health.
For example, we need only look at cases of mesothelioma which have developed due to exposure to asbestos in the environment. This type of cancer is nothing to do with genetic predisposition, and everything to do with living and working conditions.
Physical And Mental Health And The Impact Of Nature And Nurture
Nature also affects whether or not we’re susceptible to some mental and physical health disorders.
It has been shown that certain conditions have a tendency to run through families, so if your grandparents, parents and siblings suffer from health problems, there’s a greater chance you could develop them too.
Yet, whether or not you do go on to develop those conditions could be affected by environmental factors. It’s actually possible to change gene expressions by changing your lifestyle and environment.
- If your family are prone to developing diabetes or heart disease, eating a healthier diet and regularly exercising could reduce your risk.
- If your close family members have developed colon or breast cancer, getting health screenings on a regular basis can be beneficial.
Conversely, if you’re exposed to negative influences in your environment, this can also have a negative effect on your genetic expression.
- If you’re exposed to violence in your community, you’re likely to experience anxiety, negative behaviours and depression.
- If you’re exposed to second-hand smoke, you’re more likely to develop cancer.
This is why it couldn’t be more important to adopt a healthy lifestyle in order to enjoy the best quality of life possible.
The Benefits Of A Healthy Lifestyle
It’s clear that both nature and nurture have a part to play in our overall health and wellbeing.
While there is little that we can do about the conditions that we have inherited in our genes, there is a lot that we can do about our lifestyles and living environments.
Even if we’re genetically predisposed to developing certain medical problems, living a healthy lifestyle can reduce our chances of developing them, or of making them less serious.
I can work with you as a health coach from home in London to develop a programme that will enable you to improve your lifestyle. I can help you to make better choices in your life so that you can balance out nature and nurture.