I’m in the middle of a park in Sydney handing a sample of my blood to a man covered in tattoos – admittedly this is normally how crime novels start, not fitness blogs, but hey, this blog isn’t named Not Your Normal Health Blog for nothing and the man covered in tattoos is actually a personal trainer. Called Mark Moon, he’s here to tell me all about his blood type based workouts.
The principle is simple. Our blood type is one of the things that determines who we are and what our body needs. It determines what foods work best for us, how we react to stress, what illnesses we are susceptible to and, what exercise we need.
Now sceptics might be saying ‘phooey’ here, and I’m not sure what side of the fence I specifically fall on but what I can tell you is that at least one of the statements above has some truth to it – different blood types do seem to be slightly more suspectible to different diseases. Recent studies have found that type Os have lower risk of stroke and type 2 diabetes for example and there have been similar links to heart disease in the past. It was all enough to intrigue me anyway.
To get the sample is relatively simple and just requires stabbing your finger with a sterile lancet (yes there was antiseptic used) – you then drop four drops of blood onto a sheet of cardboard which contains a coating that reacts with your red blood cells revealing your bloodtype. It turns out that I was an O type.
At this point things got interesting, Mark gave me a sheet explaining O health characteristics. The first thing it said was that O types have high stomach acid and are often plagued with problems related to it – you know I keep talking my dodgy gut here – well I have a form of acid reflux which is making my life miserable right now! It also mentions that Os get angry when stressed out – erm, yep! We also turn to destructive behavious when tired or bored – can you say ‘eat all the chocolate, drink all the wine’! It was uncannily like me…..But I’ve diverted, we’re supposed to be talking exercise so I asked Mark what this meant for my workout
Apparently, it’s not so much what I do that matters for me, but that I do it regularly as type O’s need consistent exercise to stay sane and healthy – again, completely true, everything from my mood to my skin and my bowels go haywire if I dont workout. Cardio or strength both work but it needs to be brisk and challenging to get results. Mark said if he was training me he’d put me on a circuit style routine mixing up body toning moves and cardio. Again, I know that works well for me.
But there are of course four main blood types – so what does the theory say you should be doing if you’re one of the other three.
Type A. Apparently As need exercise to counteract their stress levels and so yoga and tai chi are perfect. You can do other workouts but be careful not to overtrain when you’re tired or sick as that will raise levels of stress hormones and counteract results.
Type B. Balance is key for Bs. And as such you need to do workouts that work your body and mind together like racket sports. Mark also suggests cross training plans to Bs so that no one part of the body dominates and all muscles are worked in turn.
Type AB. Is a mix of both of the above so for you exercise needs to reduce stress but also balance you. Mix up sessions of yoga with a session or two or something like running, tennis or cycling and you should do fine.
As I said I’m not sure whether I completely buy into the theory but the O characteristics are strangely accurate so it’s something I’d like to investigate further. If you want to know more though here’s where to find out more about Mark and what he’s doing. Note: you don’t need to be in Sydney to take advantage of his plans. He offers them online.
So what do you think? Would you do a blood type workout?