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future stories

Skip leg day because your DNA says so: Hear about the future of fitness in our latest podcast

From DNA tests to exercise pills, this is what staying in shape could look like in a few decades time.

COULD IT SOON be possible to stay in shape without breaking a sweat?

In the newest episode of Future Stories, a monthly podcast from and Volkswagen, we’re looking ahead to what workouts could look like in ten, twenty or thirty years time.

You’ve probably never heard of GW1516, but for scientists at the Salk Institute in the US, it could be the key to a long anticipated quick fix: an exercise pill. Initial tests (on mice, not humans, FYI) show a 70% increase in athletic endurance and an increased ability to burn fat.

Of course, the compound has a long line of testing ahead before it could conceivably be made mainstream, as Dr Giles Warrington, head of PESS (Physical Education and Sports Sciences) at the University of Limerick, notes.

“There’s a big difference between showing a short term effect in mice and demonstrating a long term effect in humans,” he says.

It is a drug and would have to pass very stringent regulations, and it’s highly unlikely that this kind of drug would be passed by the FDA in the US and the Irish Medical Board here, for the simple fact that ‘being unable to exercise’ is not currently classed as a disease.

So what else is out there for gym goers looking to boost their gains? In this episode of Future Stories, we speak to Sebastian Corpe of UK-based company DNAFit, who use gene testing to give people a “higher resolution picture” of how they should be training and what they should be eating.

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“We can look at genes relating to how well you absorb either fats or carbs, for example,” says Sebastian Corpe of DNAFit. “Or whether you’re better suited to sprints or long distance running.”

And closer to home, we cycle through Santorini and dive beneath the ocean, all while sitting in a Dublin spin studio. West Wood Club is one of just 11 sports clubs around the world using The Trip, an immersive spinning class from the Les Mills fitness empire.

“It’s an indoor cycle class but you’re sitting in front of an IMAX cinema screen with surround sound. It’s a visual journey and we coach along with the visuals,” explains Katie Harvey, studio manager as West Wood’s Aston Quay branch.

“There’s a waiting list every day.”

Want to hear more about the future of fitness? The latest episode is live right now:

Journal Media / SoundCloud

Click-through to be taken to the episode on:

Apple Podcasts

Listen: Lego style homes and natural fridges – the house of the future>

Listen: Space hotels and supersonic travel – the future of your summer holiday>

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