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Portable Vo2Max and BMI meter

Posted on 2011-09-16
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Hi there,

I am looking for the following meters at an affordable price:
-Vo2Max
-Resting BMI
-Glucide vs protain burning rate during exercise

Thanks for your advise,
Rene

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Question by:ReneGe
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by:vop
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VO2 Max - there is no simple device which a person can connect up to and estimate VO2 Max. The only proper way to measure VO2 Max is to use graded exercies using a treadmill or cycle ergometer to progressively increase exercise intensity whilst measuring ventilation and oxygen and CO2 concentrations in inhaled air. There is a simpler method based on measuring maximum and resting heart rates, but this is not nearly as accurate as the ergometer method.

As far as I'm aware, there is no such thing as resting BMI. BMI is a measure of weight to body area and is obtained by caclulation based on height and weight. It remains the same, whether one is resting or exercising, although it will tend to fall during a long endurance event. A number of products are on the marked, often incorporated into body weight measuring scales, which provide a numerical display of what is claimed to be BMI, based on electrical skin conductivity between sets of electrodes, but this is not as accurate as the height-weight-based calculation.

I can't help on glucide vs protain burning rate. Did you mean carbohydrate vs protein?


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by:ReneGe
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Thanks vop!

-Since I already have a treadmill, would you by any chance, know about an affordable VO2 MAX testing device/kit?
-You are right, I did mean "carbohydrate vs protein"

Cheers,
Rene
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by:vop
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Fitness gyms tend to use the maximum and resting heart rates method to estimate VO2 Max as part of periodic assessment of a gym user's fitness parameters. The test takes 15-20 mins to conduct and involves several episodes of exercise with rest in between. Depending on the calculation method adopted, the treadmill may need to be set to a fixed known slope. The treadmill speed will need to be increased stepwise. Some method of measuring heart rate during exercise is necessary, and the person's weight may need to be known in order to calculate the work done.

Take a look at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VO2_max

As far as carbohydrate vs protein burn rates during exercise are concerned, under "ordinary" exercise conditions, the primary source of energy will be carbohydrate, the majority of which will come from glycogen stores mainly in liver and muscle. Protein catabolism will only tend to become significant in extremes, e.g. in starved individuals, or after some time into prolonged intense exercise without additional food intake. The person concerned will know when their glycogen stores are getting low because they will experience what is known as "the wall" or "the knock" - symptoms will include feeling weak, disturbances of vision (things will look bright and light/dark contrast will be reduced), aches and pains, and a sense of humour failure! Under normal circumstances, calculating carbohydrate burn rate will be sufficient. Protein catabolism alone will not provide sufficient energy to sustain any significant exercise rate. Fat reserves will also be drawn upon, once significant glycogen depletion has occurred. If a person has exercised, but doesn't eat sufficient calories to replace those used during exercise plus those needed to maintain basal metabolism, then the glycogen stores will be refilled, and basal metabolism maintained by mobilising fat.



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by:ReneGe
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Thanks vop for all this information. In "SEE ALSO" -> "Anaerobic exercise", I found this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Exercise_zones.png

Does this mean that if while exercising, I maintain a heart beat in the Weight Control level, I will be in the best exercising conditions to burn fat?

Thanks for all your help,
Rene
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Burning fat isn't as simple as maintaining heart rate within a particular band. Food intake is an important part of the equation. The basis behind this equation is very simple, however, and there's no escaping it. If the calories absorbed from food are less than the calories consumed by basal metabolism plus exercise, weight loss will follow and this will be predomonantly from fat. The most difficult part is maintaining the discipline necessary to limit the number of calories eaten, especially since doing more exercise will naturally increase feelings of hunger.  Modern food technology has been very successful at making us eat more and the modern work environment for a large proportion of people is relatively sedentary, which tends to encourage fat deposition. There is quite a bit of misleading information, out there, particularly behind advertising claims for special diets and nutritional supplements. Rather like oxygen-free copper and the Hi-Fi industry. One thing to try is to allow feelings of hunger to persist for a while and then only to eat moderate amounts of food.

Take a look at e.g:

http://www.bodybuildingology.com/fat-metabolism.shtml

http://arno.unimaas.nl/show.cgi?fid=2782

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by:ReneGe
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May I then conclude by saying that the best ways to lose those love handles are:
-Eat healthy in a balanced way (I use FitDay software to balance my diet [http://www.fitday.com])
-Eat less calories then you burn
-Do daily low intensity (25% of Vo2MAX) cardio exercise for half an hour
-Exercise your muscles every 2 days, just ennuf so they start to heart a bit, so your fat burning furnace can burn more fat, with the same efforts (resting or during 25% of Vo2MAX exercise)

How does that sound? Am I forgetting something?

Thanks and cheers,
Rene
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by:vop
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Sounds absolutely spot on :-)

One thing to be wary of when measuring body mass during any weight reduction program is that body weight can easily vary by +/- 1kg or more due to normal variations in homeostasis. It's the underlying more gradual changes that matter. If weight is not reducing, a correction factor could be applied, either to the output of the FitDay software, or to the way the calories burned are calculated.

Good luck.

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by:ReneGe
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Thanks a million vop.

I have one more question. In my weight reduction strategy, considering that for the moment, I do not have the target of augmenting my cardio vascular endurance, would it be of any use for me to bring my cardio to higher Vo2Max %, to aerobic, anaerobic or even max efforts?

Cheers,
Rene
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by:vop
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If exercise effort is increased towards VO2 Max, fat burn will contribute less and less to energy production, although overall the fat burn rate will almost certainly increase. From a weight loss point of view, going closer to VO2 Max will have some effect, though this will need to be balanced against general fitness at the time. The great thing about exercise is it gives a real feel good buzz, down to endorphin release, I guess. If the exercise regime doesn't feel good, its best to rack it back a little. In any case, general fitness levels will rise so a given level of effort will seem easier.



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by:ReneGe
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Nice...

Thank you so mutch for all your help.

I learned a lot here.

Friendly cheers,
Rene
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