Healthy Measurements

How old is your body?A new addition to the University Recreation Center, the Polar Body Age System, can answer that question and improve TCU’s overall health and fitness, said Stacy Cintron, assistant director of campus recreation fitness and wellness. She introduced this system to help students and faculty practice healthy, active lifestyles. The system uses various tools to calculate an actual age of how old you are and devise personal exercise plans to reach your desired fitness level.

Caliper
This device pinches the skin in three target areas: the tricep, hip and thigh. It measures body composition, which is the percentage of body fat to lean body mass based on overall body weight. It also determines the basal metabolic rate, which shows how many calories are used by lean body mass and what your daily calorie intake should be.

Scale
The scale measures body weight and is calculated into the body age measurement process. It judges where one’s fitness and health level is or where it should be. Eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean meat contributes to a better weight and overall health.

Sit and Reach
Sit with legs flat on the floor, back straight with arms reaching forward and hold bar with both hands. Pushing the bar forward measures flexibility. Stretching often improves flexibility and reduces muscle strain and injury.

Heart Monitor
This measures the body’s maximum rate of oxygen use when exercising. Cardiovascular or aerobic activity improves the ability of the heart, lungs and circulatory system to send oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Cardiovascular activity includes walking, running and swimming.

Blood Pressure Cuff
Blood pressure measures the exertion of blood on arteries when the heart pumps (systolic) and when the heart is at rest (diastolic). The normal measure is a 120 systolic number over an 80 diastolic number. Maintaining a blood pressure near those numbers by exercising and avoiding salty foods decreases the chances of heart attack or stroke.

Pull-up Bar
Holding the bar at a 90 degree angle and pulling as hard as possible determines bicep and upper body strength. Frequent strength training makes daily tasks less strenuous and lowers the chances of injury.