Genetics account for only 10% of chronic diseases — yet your exposome determines 90% of your health

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How many times have you heard someone say, "I have bad genes, there is nothing I can do?" We have learned that genetics has been found to account for only about 10% of diseases, and the remaining causes appear to be from environmental sources.

So what does this mean? It means that we can no longer accept that our health is out of our control. In fact, it is the choices we make that directly affect the quality of our lives.

Every aspect of our lives makes up our exposome — nutrition, stress, activity, medications, occupational hazards, plants, our environment — including the chemicals in our water, those we spray on our bodies, and those in the air we breath.

 While there are some things that may be out of your direct control, there are many things you can control personally to limit your exposure. Here is my top ten you can start implementing today:

▲ Eat organic

▲ Movement is medicine

▲ Use all-natural personal care products

▲ Clean with vinegar

▲ Breathe deeply every day to combat stress

▲ Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night

▲ Drink filtered water

▲ Use organic lawn care and weed products

▲ Avoid using plastics -- and when you do, recycle

▲ Use glass or Corning Ware to store leftovers and food.

Eating Organic

Throw that dirty dozen list out the window. Try to limit your chemical

load by only eating organic whole foods.

Movement is Medicine

There is no better way to improve your health than to move. It has been found that those who sit for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity have a risk of dying similar to that posed by obesity and smoking.  Blood sugar is shown to be better controlled when you move with moderate intensity throughout the day, versus one 30-minute workout a day.

Personal Care Products

Read “Dying To Look Good: The Disturbing Truth About What's Really in Your Cosmetics, Toiletries and Personal Care Products." Many of the products we use -- from shampoo, to soap, to cosmetics, to bug spray — have high chemical loads and are linked to many forms of cancer. Try to use all-natural products whenever possible. shop natural products here


Avoid the chemicals found in most home cleaners and use vinegar instead.

15 things you can clean with vinegar.


Deep breathing has been found to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which has been shown to calm your nervous system while reducing stress and anxiety. It can also help you improve your attention span and lower pain levels. see all the benefits to your health here. Watch how to perform a breathing exercise here.


Researchers have found that getting less than six hours of sleep a night doubles the risk of death in study participants with high blood pressure or diabetes — and less than six hours of sleep more than tripled the risk of death in patients with heart disease.


Try “Zero Water” products. We tested the water in Annapolis with the free tester they provided and were happy to find that our water was within safe limits. Ocean City, Maryland, water did not fare so well.

Lawn care

Try using organic fertilizer from K&B True Value Hardware. Burnout” weed killer is our favorite to avoid putting chemicals into our water supply.


Plastics have made their way into everything, including microplastic pollution in marine plants. This means that the fish we eat probably contain a healthy amount of plastic from the marine plants they eat. Avoid further increased exposure, which can lead to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in plastic that alter the homeostasis of the endocrine system. This can lead to hormonal cancers (breast, prostate, testes); reproductive problems (infertility); metabolic disorders (diabetes, obesity); asthma; and neurodevelopment conditions (learning disorders, autism spectrum disorders).  Plastic you can't recycle at the curb (Amazon pouches, newspaper bags, air pillows for shipping, dry cleaner bags, etc.) can be recycled at your local grocery. find locations here.


Use glass jars (yup, the ones you usually toss out) or Corning Ware to store your leftovers.

What you expose your body to every day matters! Stop blaming your genes and empower yourself and others to make smart choices for your health.

By Jennifer Balducci, PT, MSPT, Cert. MDT

Co-Owner and Founder | One Incorporated

Physical Therapy Fitness Wellness


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