by Joe Giandonato, MS, CSCS
Buzzing recently in mainstream media is the questionable theory that you should engage in physical activities dictated your blood type. According to the reports, people with type O blood are best suited for intense training, while people with type A blood would be better served by indoctrinating a metaphysical approach to wellness, drawing from Yogic and tai chi ideologies. People with type B blood, according to the reports, benefit from having more structure in their fitness pursuits in comparison to other types, while people with type AB blood need a balance between what people with type A and type B require. WTF? Hash-tag pseudoscience.
If my memory serves me correctly and we’re talking about a biology class I took at a community college nearly a decade ago, blood irrespective of type, contains four primary constituents: plasma, platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells.
Plasma is composed of water, electrolytes, and circulating glucose, fat, and protein.
Plateletes are bodies comprised largely of blood cell fragments which help heal wounds.
Red Blood Cells, commonly known as RBCs, contain the protein hemoglobin, which transports oxygenated blood to working muscles.
White Blood Cells contain antibodies which help our bodies combat infections triggered by viruses, bacteria, and foreign bodies.
There are four main blood types, as introduced above: O, A, B, and AB, with each carrying a positive or negative, signifying the presence or absence of Rh, or Rhesus antigen, a type of protein. Each blood type is determined by heredity and not all can be combined as some are not compatible with one another.
Okay, now that we have a cursory understanding of blood and blood types, I should mention that I found nothing outside of media reports that support the appropriateness and application of specific exercise modalities for people with certain blood types. Before the uniformed masses buy into all of the hoopla, they need to realize that many variables, not just blood type, are at play. At the moment, I’d place the importance of one’s blood type higher a more important factor that one’s astrological sign as a factor in exercise prescription and programming, but lower than medical, injury, and exercise history.