Today is Friday and this day is JAM PACKED with goodness. It’s not even 6AM but my body has decided that more sleep is just not going to happen. Rather my brain has decided. I drop the kids off to school at 8AM and the first thing I am doing is going to UNO (University of Nebraska at Omaha) Exercise Physiology Laboratory located in the Health and Kinesiology (H&K) building. I have an appointment at 9AM for fitness testing. Today I am doing three tests.
The first one is an resting metabolic rate test. This is where you sit in a resting position for like 30 minutes basically doing nothing but breathing into a tube. What this test will reveal is how many calories I burn per day if I were to do no activity whatsoever. I think this is a really good baseline test because not only will I be able to calculate calories in/calories out, but as my muscle mass increases, my RMR should also increase. For that test I had to fast for 12 hours, which means I have not eaten since dinner at 6:30PM last night. I can’t remember the last time I went to bed hungry. It’s probably part of the reason I had such a rotten night sleep.
The second test is an underwater body fat percentage test. Years ago I had the one they do with the calipers at my gym and frankly I don’t remember the result. This is obviously another good one for baseline muscle mass and a good indicator on my health. These tests are too expensive to have done all the time to check progress, but it would be very interesting to do them every couple of years to see how things change both as I increase my activity, which I have been trying to do, and also as I age.
The last test is a VO2 Max test which measures how well the body consumes/uses oxygen under a cardio load. It is pretty much an indicator on my cardiovascular fitness. What they do for this test is have you breathe in a tube while performing some cardio exercise. Typically this is a treadmill or bike. I hate running on a treadmill and it is hell on my knees so I chose the bike option. They start at an easy pace and then over time increase the difficulty until you simply can’t do more. That is why it is a “max” test. I consider myself a somewhat healthy person, but I don’t think my cardio endurance is very good. I get winded jogging a block or going up a flight of stairs. It will be very interesting to see these results. I am not sure if I will get the actual results today.
I was turned on to this by a discussion I had with Lance who lives in Denver when I was out to visit a few months back. He’s doing the testing in about a week (at CU) and he wanted to have a bet about who was in better shape. He’s a tall thin dude who hikes and bikes and also lives at a higher altitude, so I told him “no way”. I’m not a sucker and I know a losing bet when I hear it. He’s convinced I am in better shape but I think he was just trying to lead me into saying yes.
After that I am sure I will be starving and want to eat lunch and I am supposed to meet Chris in Blackstone at 1. That might sound familiar if you follow along as we were supposed to meet this past Tuesday and that once again was cancelled. Third time is the charm.
At 3 or 4 I am meeting Steph for happy hour. It’s her last day of work. She said I “inspired her” to quit her job. She was pretty much fed up with her company anyway so it was not a surprise. We are going to toast to “sweet freedom” with margaritas at someplace in Papillion. That concludes what I have actually planned and I am guessing that after all that, I will be pretty done in and ready to come home and rest.
If there is one thing that I really wanted to do during my time off work, it was get more healthy and on a good path with my fitness plan. I won’t be able to tell with just this one round of testing if I’ve made progress already, but I will have a better idea where I am at now and get a sense for what I need to do in the future. Of course, that goes hand in hand with the choices I make for what I eat, but that will be another topic for another day.