Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sometimes the truth is overrated

It's time to get up off my bum and get back to the work of improving my health. I was doing pretty well this past summer with the 5K and such, but then the Mayo interview process started, followed by all the activities to move, etc. and exercise was not at the top of my "to do list."

Between the great food and sweets at the B&B and the goodies that regularly appear in the office, I saw the scale going in the wrong direction and that just had to be stopped immediately! The fastest route to that might be to toss the scale or to resist the temptations around me, but neither of those scenarios are likely to happen.

I had no other option, I joined the Dan Abrahamsen Health Living Center (DAHLC) at Mayo Clinic. It is the super cool fitness center for Mayo Clinic employees, families and volunteers. The location of the DAHLC is across the street from my office, so it will be convenient. 

While the facility itself is rather awesome, the resources that are offered by the DAHLC are even better. You can have a wellness evaluation to help you set your baseline for fitness.

The evaluation provides you with information that you already know, but may have been in denial about. Your body composition and resting metabolic rate are determined by sitting in the Bod Pod, an egg-shaped device using Air Displacement Plethysmography. (Yes, I looked that up and no, I don't really know what it means. Google it.)
If you're claustrophobic, you won't like it. 

They recently added a BVI Patient Scan as part of the wellness evaluation. It is a technology that uses a 3D white-light scanner to analyze your body fat distribution. There are only two of these in the United States and they are both at Mayo Clinic. This scan is better for the catastrophic since you stand in a 7 foot tall square booth (Reminded me of the photo booths at arcades). Sixteen sensors and 32 cameras measure you and produce a virtual body image.  Then they print it out to take with you. Oh joy! I was already completely aware of the location of my body fat, I did realize that my posture sucks. 

The final part of the evaluation involves a treadmill and a gas mask. Technically, it's not a gas mask, but I don't know what the technical term is and it looks like a gas mask. The mask is attached to your face (breathe normal - seriously? With this thing on my face?) and tetthered to a computer that is measuring your heart rate and your maximal oxygen uptake (VO2).  

I must not have put my heart rate monitor on correctly because it went from 150 to 21 to 187 to 68. Or maybe my heart is just really messed up.  

At the end, you get yet another print out with the results of this test. The computer predicts your VO2 Max level and I thought I rocked because I hit 96% of the predicted level. But I was dragged back to reality when the tech told me that computer's prediction is based on a value scale and my predicted value was in the bottom percentile. 


So, now I begin the next part of my fitness journey. I just have to get my bum out of bed and get in a morning work out. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

martins said...

Nice description of the Evaluation. What can we do to help.

DAHLC member Specialist

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