You’ve probably noticed that you respond to distinct foods, exercises, environments, and social situations differently than anyone else—but have you ever wondered why?

Your unique genetic background and the demands of your daily life from the time you were born influence everything about the way you live today. And while you may already know that you are allergic to certain foods, environmental factors, and medications, a complex set of factors define other predispositions that lay beneath the skin.

Luckily, however, the science of epigenetics and anthropometry can help you understand more about yourself than ever before. Epi-who and anthro-what?! Let us explain…

Epigenetic factors describe elements that influence the expression of your genes from the outside, such as the environment in which you grew up and the unique stressors you experience. These epigenetic factors can actually change the way your genes express themselves, altering your phenotype—the way your genes look in action. Your phenotype is who you are when you look in the mirror: the color of your hair, the texture of your skin, the length of your bones, your height, etc.

Your phenotype is affected by what scientists call epigenetics (things outside of your genes). Epigenetic factors include, well, just about everything! The way you live, the choices you make about your environment, the food you eat, the way you exercise, the people you socialize with, the toxins you are exposed to—all of these factors can affect how your genes express themselves.

Moreover, these variables can be determined using anthropometry (the scientific assessment of your body’s measurements). Your body’s unique measurements correlate to hormonal and physical predispositions that affect your mind, your body, and your overall wellbeing.

We know: All of this amounts to a big ol’ bunch of responsibility for your health—possibly unlike any you’ve felt before. But there’s good news! Once you understand more about your distinct predispositions, and what your body needs to thrive, you can start making choices that support your optimal wellbeing.

Imagine living a life that took into account all the unique factors that make you you. Eating the foods that made you feel most vibrant, living and working in environments that nurtured and inspired you, exercising in ways that helped you reach your goals most efficiently, and interacting with those people that energized and supported you. Not only would you feel more fulfilled, you would be motivated to make choices that maintained the positive changes you saw in yourself.

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