Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fitness Assessment

My work and health insurance offer a wellness program where you can get gift cards and decreased insurance rates for completing a list of requirements. Okay fine, so each year I do these just for the money. The first part is a wellness assessment which I completed in January and was told I lost too much weight in the past year, I hope so since in 2010 I was 9 months pregnant when I filled it out and decided for the first time to not get the follow up about being underweight so I entered my current pregnant weight. Oh and the other thing I always get is that my typical 2 glasses of wine per week is too much and should cut back, nope not doing that either.

Yesterday I completed a health assessment at my gym which will get me $10 off my monthly dues and  a $200 gift card, pretty good deal. The test consisted of flexibility, strength, cardio, lab values and body composition.
How did I do:
First I refused to fast for the blood draw, sorry but I'm starving when I get up and wasn't going to make it 3 hours without food everything was normal anyways even my glucose at 72.
My flexibility sucks, which I already know and is pretty sad since I spent 18 years dancing and maintaining but as a runner have seen my flexibility go away quickly.
Strength consisted of a bicep curl and surprisingly I came out average, pretty sad considering I lack arm strength especially after 4 weeks of not weight lifting and doing the test with only 1 good arm.
Cardio, now this was the true surprise. I did this test with my trainer on a treadmill and was off the chart excellent, but this time it was a VO2 max on the bike. Being I haven't trained much on my bike for the past 2 years I was only average.
Body composition, no surprises here low BMI (17.4) although they say they don't even look at this and low body fat of 14% (which is actually up from the 9.2% when I did this with my trainer in November). I should say the methods were very different skin calipers v. a scale type analyzer, so I'm guessing I'm somewhere in the middle of the range.
Overall I came up with an average ranking and a body age of 31 (I am 32). What did I learn? Get my butt back on the bike/spin class regularly and add yoga/pilates back to my routine. This starts tomorrow when I WILL get up early to get on the bike.

The final part of this assessment is a health coaching session consisting of 2 phone calls, the first of which was today and she was 20 minutes late calling (nice professionalism). She asked the typical questions: how is your overall fitness, health, diet and what can she help me with to improve? Well unless she is going to come drag my butt out of bed to get on the bike or chase me up hills to improve my running speed, then not much. These programs are great, but I always find it odd that someone over the phone (or through email as the follow up will be) can improve my health. I have all the information to improve my wellness, I know what to eat and how to train, sometimes I just don't listen to my own advice (don't tell my runners this!). Now I'm thinking maybe I need to get back to working with my own coach.

Wow, I just went back and read my post and sorry if it comes off negative that is not my intention. I love that my company is trying to help their employees improve their health and offers these incentives. I just don't think that these programs are aimed at people who already routinely work out and feel happy with their current wellness. I feel like sometimes I am jumping through hoops just to get the benefits. Last year I completed a 10,000 steps program for my $200 and actually felt a little odd tracking these on long run days figuring they thought I was just making up my numbers.

2 comments:

  1. Just to put things in perspective, if you were part of the study I'm in involved in, both your BMI and % body fat would be considered to be in the very unhealthy range. Just goes to show that the norms that have been developed are based on normal American couch potatoes. So no reason to think you're not healthy! Was you VO2 max average for a woman of your age - and did they take height into consideration? I guess I too am surprised that someone who runs as much as you would have an average VO2 max. But one shouldn't put too much weight on one measurement!

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  2. SLG-It is interesting how BMI and body fat don't take into account active people. My trainer says he hates them, especially BMI since highly active healthy people tend to fall off the scale either too low or too high for those with high muscle mass.
    As for the VO2 max they did use my height, but don't think it helped the test that I was chatting with the trainer during it. I did the running VO2 max years ago and think I'll redo it to see where my numbers fall and help my training which means I'll have to start using my HR monitor again.

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