dexa

DEXA: Scan Your Body and Improve Your Health     Kim Anthony

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Fitness Institute of Texas located on the campus of The University of Texas. What an amazing place….almost like the dreamland of fitness and health. They offer an assortment of assessments to measure your physical fitness. The information they provide based on your assessment, will amazingly helps you to better understand your physiological capacity and abilities by providing a-specific details regarding your body fat percentage, oxygen uptake, calorie expenditure, muscular strengths- in gist your overall health.

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I was excited and eager to take the Body Comp Fit assessment. This wonderful test gives you a bird’s eye view of your body composition. How often do you get the chance to see what your body is composed of and receive a detailed consultation about it? Julie Drake – Operations Director at the Fitness Institute of University of Texas, graciously conducted my assessment. Upon completion of the assessment, I was be able to benchmark my percentage of body fat, fat mass, bone mass and muscle mass. With the staff’s specialized assistance, I was also able to establish an ideal body weight and composition, which helps to ensure that weight loss is coming from fat versus muscle or bone.

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The DEXA- up close and personal.
The DXA also known as the Duel-Energy X-Ray Absorpitometry (DXA) makes the magic happen by directly measuring how much lean mass, body fat, and bone mass makes up your body. It is recognized as the gold standard and leading reference method for body composition analysis. Julie carefully walked me through the process. She told me the test would be quick (approximately six minutes) and painless and it was. It simply requires you lying down on an open “table” for aproximately 8 minutes while your body is scanned. After my scan was completed a report is immediately generated that outlines the exact percentage of my lean mass, fat mass, and bone mass in my arms, legs, trunk, stomach (visceral fat), and gynoid region (hips/thighs/butt)-that was definitely an eye opening experience.  It was like informally being introduced to the inside of my body for the first time. This experience was beyond fascinating. in addition to viewing my body composition, I also learned more about the amounts of fat and lean tissue that make up my weight, muscle symmetry and  bone mineral density.

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Sample DEXA scan tracking this individual’s progress over a year.

Mrs. Drake provided me with a helpful consultation and a detailed report at the close of my appointment. It was extremely helpful to know that my muscle symmetry was on track. She attributed the majority of that to strength training. It was nice to know that regularly lifting weights was actually working and it reflected on my scan.  On the other hand, I wasn’t shocked or alarmed to know that I still had some fat to loose, not as much as I thought the test would reflect-that was certainly a relief-my 3-5 days of cardio was doing its job. For the additionally weight loss, she recommended increasing workouts to 4 days a week, at least until I reached my desired weight. We also discussed a little about nutrition. Our discussion definitely enabled me to gain a clearer perspective of my fitness goals, reassured me that I was on the right track with my target body and gave me the opportunity to optimize my fitness plan, ensuring that it reflected goals that were more precise and aligned with what my body truly needs-all thanks to the Body Comp Fit.

I would highly recommend taking this assessment to anyone who’s interested in maintaining good health and acquiring their fitness goals. It’s well worth the time and minimal cost(UT Affiliates $75 & General Public $90) and the staff is phenomenal! I’d also suggest going back to check status in a few months. It was nice to know that assessments are stored in the computer which easily allows you to track your progress.

For more information visit FItness Institure of Texas website or contact them by phone- 512.471.0081 or email-fit@austin.utexas.edu.