Fit for the Future

    By Lashaun Dale

If you are a parent like me or if you know of any parents of children or teens, you are likely painfully aware of the daily debate regarding the amount of time spent on digital devices playing the multiplayer online game “Fortnite: Battle Royale.” With more than 40 million passionate players worldwide, our kids are not alone in this obsession.

Or perhaps the argument is about how much time they are spending in virtual reality immersive environments versus “in real life.” Either way, if today’s youth indicate our future, the future is now—and it needs our attention.

Yet where to start? How do you make sense of the past and make the most of today? What does it take to make tomorrow’s dreams come true without sacrificing the moment you have in front of you?

These are some of the questions that inspired the 24Life team as we contemplated the incredible future that is evolving before our very eyes and what that means for our workouts, our fitness, our health and our lives. It is inspiring to think deep thoughts about the future even as it is unfolding. According to Ray Kurzweil, famous for forecasting the pace of technology and predicting the world of tomorrow, and Peter Diamandis, founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation, we are in a moment of exponential innovation and explosive developments in technologies that are rapidly accelerating and shaping major industries—and these impact every aspect of our lives, including health and fitness. “Exponential” technologies include artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality (AR, VR), data science, digital biology and biotech, medicine, nanotech and digital fabrication, networks and computing systems, robotics, and autonomous vehicles.

The rate of change today is the slowest we will ever experience—so how we train, prepare, eat, sleep and show up needs to adapt along the way. As the world changes, how we move, how we work, how we live and how we connect with others will also change. To answer big questions—and discuss the little details that have massive impact—and to better understand the possibilities emerging around us, we turned to the best and brightest minds to investigate key areas of exponential growth, including technology, communications, media, food, fitness, health, beauty, media, environment and money.

The August issue of 24Life reflects our commitment to connecting you to a wellspring of new ideas, as well as our passion for encouraging you to think harder about the future that you want to inhabit. We hope that you find this issue insightful, inspirational and an invitation to the innovations that are yet to come. You’ve heard the saying, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” To me, that has always meant reaching back and honoring what matters to you, thinking forward to where you want to go, and allowing both to enhance the decisions you make today.

Editor’s Challenge

The Editor’s Challenge is short and sweet this month but crucial to future change. And in line with this issue’s exploration of the ways technology and innovation add value to our experience of the present, our challenge digs into the topic of measurement and tracking.

It has been said that you can’t measure what you don’t measure. As it relates to nourishment, food and all that we consume, it is a sometimes-shocking experiment to spend time tracking everything that passes our lips. We are in so many ways unconscious not only about what we eat but also about how much, when and why. Recording what we consume sheds light on so many questions that ultimately impact the results we seek in our health and fitness—but even more critically, these insights alter how we feel mentally and emotionally, and how much energy we have for the days of our lives and the tasks and opportunities at hand.

Now the challenge: For a minimum of one week, write down (or record in your phone Notes app or Evernote or Google Keep) everything that you eat or drink, with a time stamp and a note about the setting and occasion—and snap a picture of it. If you are up for it, also record how you are feeling at the moment—stressed, bored or actually hungry! Don’t judge, don’t change your eating habits, don’t stress out about this exercise—just record everything for at least one week—or if you are truly up to understanding your eating habits, record these details for a month.

For extra credit, apply Jane McGonigal’s futurist techniques from this issue of 24Life to your data. Envision the future relationship you want with your food and your health. You’ll find the insights gained from consistent measurement are immeasurable in their value for moving toward your vision for your well-being.

Photo credit: Eddie Pearson, Stocksy; Colin Anderson, Stocksy; Alexander Grabchilev, Stocksy


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Lashaun Dale

Lashaun Dale loves yoga and fitness and finds magic in movement, music and mobs of people. She holds degrees in International Relations, Philosophy and Applied Anthropology, as well as an MPH from the School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York. With two decades of group fitness programming experience, Dale is former editor-in-chief of 24Life magazine, a regular contributor to SELF and Women’s Health and Fitness, as well as popular blogs and podcasts. She’ll teach yoga anytime she is given an opportunity to get her om on.