PROVO — Setting regular health goals can be difficult without a way to measure your progress. Health specialist Aley Davis (that's me) visited with an Intermountain Healthcare’s Suzanne Walton, an exercise therapist at the Utah Valley LiVe Well Center for a comprehensive physical to get a head start on New Year’s goals.
Walton said this is a wise way for people to spend leftover money in your health savings account.
First, I jumped on the scale, put on a swim cap and held still in the BOD POD machine, which measures body composition including my ratio of fatty mass to lean mass. I held still for 45 seconds twice before Walton printed my results.
Next, Walton conducted the resting metabolic rate test, which tests caloric intake versus outtake. She had me lie down, put on a nose plug, and I breathed into a tube connected to the machine for 10 minutes. Once again, I held still. Walton said this test measures how many calories my body needs to function every day.
“This is great to see how many calories my body is burning at rest versus with exercise; and if I want to maintain my weight or lose my weight, to know the calorie goal to aim for each day,” Walton explained.
Finally, I participated in the functional fitness assessment, which included a series of pushups, sit-ups, a wall sit and stretching. That’s when I really started to feel the burn. I’ll admit, the wall sit was painful!
Afterward, Walton sat me down to debrief my results. "To get a good picture of where my strengths and where my weaknesses are,” Walton explained, "it's good for you to base yourself off of your own results. We're all so different.”
She encourages people to use the data to set new goals and to come back every six months or a year to check up on their progress. She said it helps people see: "This is where I'm starting, and this is where I want to be."
I realized I needed to work on my core strength, and set a new goal to do more sit-ups and planks!
Walton encourages people to use their health savings funds to have a regular health assessment. To enroll in a health assessment, visit Intermountain Healthcare to sign up at one of their LiVe Well centers across the state of Utah.