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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Diagnostic Equipment Can Keep Your Fitness Goals On Track

One of the problems with being motivated to stick to a fitness program can be the lack of short-term results. Everybody knows that an exercise program is key to long-term fitness. Aerobic exercise, lifting weights, stretching and other forms of exercise all contribute to long-term fitness in the form of higher metabolism, lower body fat levels, lower levels of "bad" cholesterol, etc.

But, believing in these effects is one thing. Seeing them on a daily or weekly basis so that you are motivated to keep exercising is another thing. When I started running on a treadmill as part of my exercise program, I kept track of my exercise hours, calories burned, etc. using the treadmill's built-in memory. It was a good feeling to see the hours pile up, but eventually, even that wore off. Sure, I was running more and burning more calories, but what was happening to my body actually?

That was a mystery in many ways. I could not easily measure my cholesterol levels, body fat levels or resting metabolic rate, for instance, without going to a doctor to have them checked. I do do that once a year as part of my annual check-up, but that is not a substitute for an exercise motivator in the form of a weekly reminder about how your body is improving as a result of your exercise.

Now, Health & Fitness Network has introduced diagnostic equipment that make this easy. They produce a product called BodyGem that can measure resting metabolic rate by simply measuring your oxygen consumption during rest. You can track your metabolic rate as you continue exercising to see how your exercise program is affecting your body. With a good estimate of how many calories you are burning at rest, you can also tailor a diet and calorie intake that will quickly lead to weight-loss results that may have eluded you in the past.

If you are a health-care provider, personal trainer, or nutritionist, you can also buy the professional version of BodyGem, called MedGem. MedGem is simple and convenient to use, while also being affordable and accurate. Having the ability to measure your clientele's metabolic rate before creating an exercise or diet plan for them enables you to customize the plan for each patient, and enables you to track results accurately, leading to greater success rates.

In addition to metabolic rates, the composition of one's body in terms of mass of water, fat, etc., is also an important factor in designing a fitness program that will deliver results. Health and Fitness Network produces a body composition analyzer called Futrex that fits the bill for this perfectly. The outputs of Futrex include percent body fat, total body fat mass, lean mass, basal metabolic rate, hydration rate, and many other measures of your body composition.

If you are having trouble sticking to an exercise or diet program, or feel that you are not getting the results you expect out of these programs, it may not be a problem with you, but with the program. If the program is not customized based on your body's parameters, it may be hindering rather than helping you achieve your fitness goals. You can customize the programs to suit your body better by analyzing your body using measurement tools like the above, and also track the success of your new program so that you can stay motivated and enthusiastic about following through with the program. Your body will thank you for it!

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