Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

4 Ways to Hack Your Genetics to Improve Your Body and Mind

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Genes contain information that determine everything from appearance to intelligence. A person inherits genes from their parents, and how parents live affects their children's genes. 


It’s a mistaken assumption that everything you inherited in your genes is permanent. Your lifestyle and circumstances can awaken individual genes and/or suppress others. Here are ways you can alter your environment and lifestyle to improve your body and mind. 

1. You are what you eat.

Food and nutrition are important -- both can influence the body and mind. If you regularly consume healthy and nutritious food, your genes will respond accordingly. Healthy nutrition awakens essential genes that have a positive impact on your mind and body. It’s critical to have a consistently healthy diet because you want your good genes to be active.

I like to maintain a pretty rigorous nutrition plan throughout the week. My healthy food plan consists of a loose version of the paleo diet. Not only does this keep my mind sharp, but helps me keep up an optimal performance when working out. I haven't consumed alcohol in more than three years, don't smoke and don't do any drugs. I feel more healthy than I ever have before.

Related: 17 Tricks To Get More Things Done During the Work Day

2. Stress can activate changes.

Everybody deals with stress, and that can have an impact on our health and genes. If you’re consistently stressed out, certain useful genes can gradually become suppressed or activated to help you cope. That can have a direct impact on your productivity and health.

To combat stress, I like to go on long runs or drive while listening to my favorite music. I use positive mental strength tricks and breathing exercises to help still my mind and bring my heartbeat down. 

3. An active lifestyle will awaken the best genes.

An active lifestyle influences changes as well. You don’t have to be an exercise junkie to get good results. All you need to do is indulge in some sport or physical activity such as dancing or running on a regular basis. Your body will activate genes needed to support those activities over time. The impact has a net positive on your health, mind and productivity.

I train rigorously every week. I do CrossFit, Muay Thai and run miles with a 20-pound vest. I also like to do out-of-the-box things, such as a hip hop dance class.

Related: 3 Ways to Manage Your Time and Boost Productivity

4. Change your environment.

Sometimes changing your environment isn't as easy as influencing other aspects of your life, but you can control it in small ways. Regular exposure to morning sunlight, a clean home environment and living near a wooded area can influence your active genes, mind, body and even your mood.

I keep all of my work areas clean and clutter free. I like to constantly change where I work and travel. For me, the result is a much more productive, dynamic lifestyle.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks