Nowadays, bespoke is the modern buzzword — we can personalise everything from our luggage to our lunches. So it was inevitable that a one-size-fits-all approach to fitness would eventually be sidelined in favour of something more precise: these days, hitting peak wellness means going right down to genetic level.
Creating a diet and training type based on your gene variants used to be the preserve of elite athletes, but the game-changing affordability of DNA testing means that “precision” or “personalised” fitness is going mainstream. According to research from digital health venture fund Rock Health, since 2011 more than $1.9 billion of capital (about £1.5 billion) has been raised to fund companies that use predictive analytics based on your genes.
And the phenomenon has already hit the capital: London’s top gyms, spas and restaurants are leading this trend for targeted, DNA-based advice.
The plush London gym chain loved by Prince Harry proudly claims it “doesn’t do inductions”, and instead offers its members an “Out/Set assessment”. Even the basic plan includes a biometric body scan, but those opting for the premium service make their way to the on-site medical centre to give a blood sample that will be screened for hormone and adrenal function, as well as any food allergies and intolerances (from £500). Then there’s a saliva swab scan for 45 gene variants with a link to how the body responds to food and exercise, including your sensitivity to carbs, salt and saturated fat as well as caffeine and alcohol metabolism. Fingers crossed you’re in the “can eat carbs not just kale” camp.
Testing starts at £200, thirdspace.london.
The Clinic: VivaMayr
Devotees of “the Mayr cure”, including Karlie Kloss, Suki Waterhouse and, er, Michael Gove, will no doubt already know that the cult Austrian detox clinic opened its first overseas outpost in London in April. The VivaMayr London Day Clinic is focusing on diagnostic testing, including lab tests for alkaline acidity balance and minerals (£90), fatty acid analysis (£120) and cardiovascular risk factors (£120), including testing whether you have the variation of the FTO gene, which has been dubbed the “fat gene” as it makes you more likely to store pounds when you eat saturated fats. The Mayr technique of chewing each mouthful 40 times should come in handy if (heaven forbid) you do test positive.