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Do the Math: Advances in Technology Lead us to a Healthier Lifestyle

Jan 13, 2016 02:00PM ● By Becca Newell
By Becca Newell

Eating the right foods, counting calories, and exercising regularly are steps one typically takes to lose weight. With the added results of a few simple equations—often calculations of current weight, height, and other health indicators—it’s relatively easy to solidify a meal plan and workout routine that almost guarantees weight loss.

Thanks to recent advances in technology, the guesswork from these equations has been reduced dramatically, leading to smart eating (not dieting), better exercise regimens, and improved overall health. Here, we take a look at some equipment, found at Hearthstone Health & Fitness in Easton, that does the math, so you don’t have to.

Bod Pod

A body composition tracking system, the Bod Pod accurately displays one’s health—from body fat to muscle mass to bone density. The almost egg-shaped machine, which one sits inside, uses air displacement to determine body volume during the three-minute assessment. The results are highly accurate, with a range of error between 1 to 2.7 percent, and enable trainers and nutritionists to track the success of a weight loss program, analyze athletic performance, and more. To ensure an accurate reading, one must wear skin-tight clothing—a bathing suit or biking shorts are recommended, with hair tucked into swim cap, and without any jewelry.

Resting Metabolic Rate Test

Wouldn’t it be nice to know exactly how many calories your body burns while resting? Even better to know how many can be burned while exercising? A 20-minute RMR test could reveal the answers. Conducted onsite by relaxing in a comfortable chair and breathing into a special mask that’s connected to the RMR machine, the test produces an accurate measurement of caloric expenditure. This information can be used to determine the amount of calories one should consume daily to lose weight. The results also indicate the estimated calories burned while exercising to help establish cardio routines that target weight loss.

VO2 Max Testing

For those looking to increase their cardiovascular fitness and endurance, a VO2 Max test may be beneficial. The test, which indicates one’s physical fitness, involves incremental exercise on any cardio equipment (for example, a treadmill, exercise bike, or rowing machine) while the user wears a contraption similar to a respiratory mask. As the workout intensity increases, ventilation, oxygen, and carbon dioxide concentration are measured in the inhaled and exhaled air to determine aerobic threshold, anaerobic threshold, peak heart rate, and calories burned during exercise and at rest. The information is assessed to establish a training program to reach a desired fitness level.

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