The future of health and fitness does not solely lie in high-tech gadgets or new-age class sessions. Some scientists believe that the studying of genes will help people perfect their workout routine.
Technology in 2018 does a fine job at tracking physical activity. From workout warriors to people who just live an active lifestyle, technology can provide consequential information like heart rate, number of calories burned, and distanced traveled.
But this data is just a glimpse of the larger picture. According to Forbes columnist Lee Bell, genetic insight through DNA testing could help this active generation achieve a more personalized workout.
Bell explains that there are some limitations in the current tech available to the public.
“In order for future health tech devices to give us truly valuable feedback, they need to be more personalized,” Bell writes.
“For instance, it’s all well and good measuring your heart rate, but the average smartwatch is comparing your BPM to the average rate of someone your age, sex and height in order to calculate how many calories you’re burning, and so it’s not a truly accurate measurement; it doesn’t take into consideration the state of your personal inner workings.”
People who enjoy an active lifestyle are more likely to have a well-functioning body. But DNA shows the true inner-workings of the human body, and that information could be used to tailor a more pronounced workout.
Bell concedes that this process sounds extreme, but it is relatively easy in terms of costs.
“By measuring your vitals from inside your body, as opposed to superficially with sensors, testing your DNA and looking at your genetic code can give you a more accurate insight into the state of your health,” he writes.
“Obviously, you’re not going to have this done after every workout, but the idea is once you’ve had a test, you can see, genetically, where your weaknesses are and more useful recommendations about how to improve this can then be forged.”
Knowing your genes can literally dictate the best workout for your body. Some people, for example, have a copy of the ‘endurance’ I allele gene and a copy of the ‘power/strength’ D allele gene, which means their bodies best respond to high load, low repetition workouts.
Beyond personalizing the workout experience, gene insight in terms of fitness can also amplify the accuracy of fitness tracking.
Bell imagines that fitness tracking devices will soon be able to upload DNA data, which will help users see even the smallest effects of their workouts.
There are many new startups and genetic specialist companies that can help generation active measure their DNA. So while gene insight sounds like it is a concept from the future, the practice is already with us in the present.