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When the future comes…

Will you even need to be fit?

YES! Well, I’m a personal trainer and kettlebell instructor. It’s my job to make people fit, so I may be just a little biased.

Obviously with technology, it will be easier than ever to have zero movement and no physical contact with other people.

Most people don’t really want that.

On the other end of the spectrum, the massive shift in technology available to those that enjoy being active will be mind-blowing.

Whether it’s a new competitive e-sport or an interactive 5-D movie experience, the best of the future will be exclusively available to those that are fit and injury-free.

Fitness is important for nerds more than ever before

If you’re from the ET era or your childhood friends were like the kids from Stranger Things, then you know all the best stuff was done sitting on your butt. From Dungeons & Dragons to Pong, drive-in movies to comic book stores, there was no need to be active when nerding-out.

In the past, the best reason to be fit was to be able to run from the starting line-up of the football team.

But going to the gym was like stepping into the enemy’s lair. Plus, before the internet most people had no idea what they were doing. Everyone just copied the biggest and strongest guy they knew.

And if you happened to be a girl nerd, it was even harder to be healthy and active. If you tried to go to the gym, you’d be laughed at for trying to get strong.

And for everyone, the hardest final boss lived at the gym — the post-workout showers.

Thankfully we live in a different era and the scorecards are in.

Newsflash, the nerds have won.

Even though bullies are not threatening to give you an atomic wedgie anymore, you still have to be fit if you want to enjoy the best of what the future has to offer.

The next generation of nerd fantasies are going to require your body to be in tip-top shape.

And I’m not talking about stepping on a Wii Fit board like you’re in an 80’s workout video.

You’re going to need to be strong, flexible, and injury resistant too. If your body is not prepared, you might have to sit out the next generation of VR experiences.

Let’s play this out with a good old fashioned nerd-debate: Which will be the cooler future?

Westworld vs Ready Player One

On one side, we have the Westworld “park model”. Real world, real physics. A sprawling theme park you can visit, with robots that have traversed the uncanny valley and are identical to humans. Everything is monitored, everything is controlled but it is expensive to reset the scene after the chaos that ensues each day.

On the other side, we have the Ready Player One “virtual model”. Endless worlds, limitless options. To access this model, you need a command station, goggles, and a haptic suit to simulate how the world feels. For most people it will be much cheaper than the park model but the laws of physics are difficult to simulate no matter how much you spend.

If you’ve made up your mind already as to which is more possible, hear me out for a sec.

While building robots that are indistinguishable from humans is no small task, neither is virtualizing the sensations of walking and running, let alone flying and crashing into things.

The virtual model has a tall task if it is to minimize the motion sickness that comes from sliding, swinging, and swooping through a VR world all while in the confines of your living room.

So the main benefit of the virtual model is that a large number of people will be able to own one, but that doesn’t mean the park model is of the question.

In fact, there is a company that exists today called The Void and it combines both models. It’s a real world warehouse that you can run around in, meshed perfectly with VR goggles. It’s like laser tag with VR goggles and you can go on missions and shoot virtual monsters. The latest one they’ve released is a star wars mission:

We were talking about fitness?

Right, technology is thrilling and regardless of which model you are looking forward to more, each will require its own level of fitness.

In the park model, if you want to go on a quest, you’re going to have to dust off the boots and walk the the damn quest. Without spoiling the show, there are plenty of situations where being physically capable pays dividends for the characters.

In Ready Player One, your real life movements are mirrored in the virtual world. Wearing a full body haptic suit captures every motion you make, from your fingertip squeezing a trigger to jumping behind cover to avoid sniper fire. If you can’t dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge, you’re going to burn through a lot of extra lives to make any progress.  

In the movies, this is an easy fix.

But in real life, it takes years of dedication and deliberate practice to get your body to perform at its peak.

Man, when we get real haptic suits, those things are going to be EXHAUSTING.

If you’ve ever played the VR Game SuperHot you know exactly how tired you can get simply bobbing and weaving — and that game is in slow motion.

And stay away from Beat Saber if you don’t want to embarrass yourself by sweating all over your friend’s fancy new Occulus Rift… (guilty)

Also, LOOK AT THIS THING:

This is today. This exists RIGHT NOW.

This is a thing you can BUY

And as tiring as it looks here, imagine how you’ll feel when the zombies from 28 days later are chasing you.

What’s this technology going to look like in 5 years?

While this specific technology is still in its infancy, it’s growing every year and the best next-gen experiences will be for athletes only. If you want to be king of the hill, you’re going to need to be strong and flexible with laser sharp reflexes.

Now if you’re into it more casually, then playing games will 100% get you in better shape. But you’re not going to move well automagically if your past few years have been spent sitting at a desk all day. You need a foundation; otherwise old injures and muscle imbalances will hold you back from getting to the next level.

Don’t miss out because your body can’t take it. Now is the time to start building that foundation, even if you’ve thought something ridiculous like “I’m past my prime.”

Science can save you — but only if you exercise.

While we’re thinking about how crazy the future is, take it one step further: how long are you going to live for?

If you’re in your 30s or 40s, you have another 30-40 years even if science does not make any changes. With the medical advancements on the horizon, courtesy of brilliant people in Silicon Valley, it’s not hard to imagine the average lifespan of a Vancouverite creeping over 100.

And not just wheelchair years. I’m talking about good years where you’re fit enough to hike the mountains, swim in the ocean, and swing a kettlebell without pain.

Science is going to change your life and as medicine continues to march forward, you will be able to maintain your fitness levels until the day you die.

But it can’t work miracles if you don’t put in a little effort.

If you don’t exercise and eat healthy, there is not much medicine can do except keep you from dying. Living well is a far cry from “not dying”, especially if you’re going to live to over 100 years old.

Exercise and mental health

The link between physical activity and mental health is well established. The more hours you spend at work, the more you need to have a physical way to offload that pressure and get the blood flowing to your brain.

If VR causes people to tune out from reality and become glued to their chair like the humans in Wall-E, then it will be assuredly terrible. However, if regular, sedentary people can burn an extra few hundred calories a day by moving around and HAVING FUN doing so, it WILL change lives.

For every Black Mirror episode making you fearful of the future, there is a positive side that does not make for thrilling television.

Not everyone is going to look like a superhero, but getting people moving and engaging them in fun and novel ways is something that creates an incentive to eat healthier and BE healthier in order to play the game better. Eating healthier gives you physical energy and mental energy, which in turn improves how you do your job and, more importantly how you FEEL.

What you eat can change your life.

I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times and I don’t need to convince you that eating better can be a game changer in your life.

But it’s also hard and maybe you’ve tried before, and maybe it didn’t stick.

You’re also probably a little confused as to what healthy actually means for you. Everyone is built differently and we all like different things. What is best for me to eat, might not be the best for you to eat.

But there are some things that help a lot of people, no matter what you’re eating, like:

  1. Cooking 80-90% of your meals at home.
  2. Eating slowly and checking in with your body to see how full you are.
  3. Keeping track of your diet so you know roughly how many calories you eat.
  4. A strong social support network with plenty of positive motivation.

That last one is probably the most important.

If you have people that are encouraging you and it becomes normal to eat healthy, you’ll do it at the snap of your fingers.

If you have people constantly dragging you down, sabotaging your willpower by telling you to eat the rich chocolate cake with tiramisu toppings that the office bought for Karen’s birthday, anyone will get worn down and give in over time.

It’s impossible to fail if you don’t quit

Failure is a stepping-stone on the path to success.

Just because you’ve tried and failed does not mean you will never succeed; it just means you haven’t YET.

When you have a community of motivated people supporting you in your healthy choices, a huge weight gets lifted off your shoulders. That diet which was temporary becomes a lifestyle that is permanent.

And having a plan that’s tailored specifically for you takes the guesswork out of it.

This is what we do at Element Athletic.

We are a full service gym combining engaging and dynamic workouts with online nutrition coaching to get you the best and most effective results.

From Dec 3rd to Jan 14th, we are putting on a 6 week Holiday Survival Transformation Program where you’ll work out with us 3 times per week and learn everything you need to know to develop the right nutrition plan for your lifestyle and goals.

It runs during the holiday season, which is the toughest part of the year for staying healthy because it is the most likely time you’ll drop off your diet and exercise plan.

So don’t be stuck trying to get healthy in January. Get a jump on it and enjoy being a step ahead of the rest of the world.

Sign up and we’ll contact you when registration opens. Or if you’re ready to get right into the exercise, come on down to Element Athletic for a free trial.

And if you want to hear more about our thoughts on nutrition, head on over to the Element Athletic Nutrition FAQ.

Program runs from Dec 3rd to Jan 14th

Don’t miss out!