I had my yearly look over with my Doctor the other day. We would look at my bio markers recorded earlier in the year (Cholesterol, Sugar (A1C), blood pressure, liver and kidney functioning. My Doctor was pleased with my numbers and asked me the standard yearly check up questions. He reminded me that the big colonoscopy thing is looming in the future, in 2 years. Not sure how that got here so quickly, I am still 23 in my mind. He did ask me what I was doing to stay so healthy and this is what I shared and will now share with you this week. Also the why.
Biomarkers of health:
Body Mass Index (BMI) (at the time of testing was at the middle of my 2020 racing season) – 22.5 – this is not the greatest indicator of health, I do know at this time, I was carrying around 14% body fat. As of right now (February 2021), the estimate of body fat is around 17% with 117lbs of my weight being in muscle. Current BMI is around 22.9. Muscle mass is around 79.4%. There are many methods to take body measurements. Bioelectrical Impedience Analysis or BIA is the method that I use to track body metrics. I have used a bathroom scale that has the ability to conduct BIA, currently, I am using the Withings Body + Scale( https://www.withings.com/us/en/scales).
What is BIA? BIA is a method of assessing your body composition: the measurement of body fat in relation to lean body mass. It is an integral part of a health and nutrition assessment. Research has shown that body composition is directly related to health. Comparing BIA to BMI, BIA more accurately predicts risk for cardiometabolic diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and hypertension. It is to be noted, to get truly accurate BIA readings, one would have to present themselves to a lab and not rely soley on a device bought at a department store. These devices have been shown to be 21 -34% inaccurate.
Other biomarkers of health –
Cholesterol (June 2020)-
LDL – 127
HDL 101 – I was told that my overall was elevated because of my high or good HDL. I was told that these were good numbers.
My ratio was 2.3
Cholesterol ranges are as follows:
Ideal HDL – the good cholesterol is 60 or higher. The bad or LDL is less than 100, borderline is 130- 159. I have taken steps to lower my LDL through diet modifications. I will order another blood test in a year when I get my next physical. Overall, less than 200 is ideal, I was told that my overall was high because of my very high HDL. There is also some research out that shows that athletes have an altered overall cholesterol.
A1c pancreas was 5.0 (June 2020) – a normal A1c is below 5.7%. A level 5.7% to 6.4% indicates pre diabetes and level of 6.5% indicates diabetes.
So why is all of this important?
When I hear people talk about getting healthy, most times folks will talk about needing to shed a few pounds and on occasion, people will say someting about their A1C, blood pressure or their cholesterol. Every time I hear someone talk about these biomarkers, it often is with a detatched ambivalence that has the air of a problem that is out of their control. Granted, being mobidly obese or even 50-60lbs overweight can be a very daunting road towards recovery, it is all very doable.
In a post I offered two weeks ago, I talked specifically about dietary protocols and their use for managing troubling bio markers. Another huge component of managing troubling bio markers is physical exercise. You have to do something every day. I don’t terribly like training outside when there is a Polar Vortex going on as this week has displayed, and my training reflects this, I trained inside on 2/8 and again on 2/10, but markers of health are somewhat controllable.
Forty five minutes of moderate intensity exercise is the recommended dosage per day. Moderate intensity can be rated in this way. Think of a scale ranging from 0- 10 where 0 is sitting on the couch Netflixing and chilling. 10 would probably be the tail end of my 2nd workout on Tuesday or Thursday. You want to be exercising around 5 or 6, even 7 if you can sustain it. It is important to note here that if you are carrying extra weight or you are in very bad shape, your 5 or 6 is not going to look the same as others. You may even find that 45 minutes is too much and you may need to start with 15 minutes or less.
This week on the menu:
Breakfast – the usual, Muesli, Oatmeal or Eggs and Toast
Meal 1 will be a Chicken Tikka Masala
Meal 2 will be a Banh Mi Bowl
Egg white bites
Nuts and chocolate
Rice cakes and yogurt/ peanut butter.