Yep. A few years of being too sedentary in my mid-40s, and I decided to sign up for a new kind of gym. It's called the Integrated Wellness Center, a far cry from the Gold's Gym bodybuilder brand, and it includes on onsite chiropractor who works with the fitness trainer and a massage therapist to design a program for increasing fitness.
I had my cholesterol and blood glucose levels checked. I scored in the "healthy" range. Yeah for diet, genes, and maybe the Heart Plus and Fish Oil I take regularly!
I had my resting metabolism checked. I scored "below normal." No wonder it seems like it's harder to take off those pounds I put on over the last six months or so. Lots of reasons to have a low resting metabolism, but my hunch is it's all about "driving a desk" for a living. Working in a small office, I don't get much exercise. "Walking the halls" doesn't help either as there's not far to go, hence the need for a good gym.
Anyway, I was tested for range of motion and symmetry (some I passed and others I failed!). And, I was tested for body fat. Sigh. Some things you just don't want to know.
Scientists like to use fancy techniques like underwater weighing, total body electrical conductivity, total body potassium, and other things I don't understand to get accurate body fat readings.
However, gyms and clinics screen using so-called anthropometric-based measurements such as:
- Circumference measurements
- Height- and weight-based indexes such as weight-for-height, body mass index (BMI), etc.
I wanted to believe that Regan was simply trying to motivate me to come to the gym but enough studies support her assessment that I had to, for the first time in my life, grapple with the label of being clinically "fat." :-(
I was always a skinny kid and a slender adult, until I hit my mid-40s, that is. And, I've always had a self identity as an "athlete" and relatively "fit," and certainly able to get back in shape quickly if need be. Could it be that I was now "fat?"
Sure, my activity did slow down over the past 6 years. Steve is a fabulous cook and being together has added many meals I would have skipped otherwise. Also, I socialize more these days, so there are more gatherings with great foods, making it tempting to sample everything.
Of course, my friends or family would not consider me "fat" but the stinking "anthropometry" tests caught my attention. I can be a good size (what other people care about) -- but still not in shape and carrying too much fat compared to muscle weight (something I care about).
Alas, it's time to concentrate on building muscle mass again and passing on some of the food that comes my way.
I'm happy to say that I'm enjoying the Wellness Center. There's a different vibe at this place, only blocks from my office, with windows looking out on Gallivan Square trees and regular photo shoots. The place isn't always jam-packed and pulsing with the young and the vain. Instead, there is a steady stream of older professionals who are interested in feeling better and living longer!
I hope more centers crop up around the country to integrate wellness with fitness, all under one roof! Drop me a line about wellness centers in your area!