There’s a great benefit to joining Upper Valley Aquatic Center (UVAC). Members can get a free Wellness Screening. (And if you are not a member, this is great incentive to join.)
So what is a Wellness Screening? Susan Van Abs, a personal trainer and wellness coach at UVAC patiently explained the process to me because I was clueless.
In short, a Wellness Assessment is a series of exercise-driven tests and measurements that provide snapshot metrics of your fitness level. This knowledge, in turn, can inform changes to your training.
The screening itself takes about an hour. It measures strength, balance, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. Susan had me balance on one foot, squat, do push-ups,3 minutes of step ups, and bend my knees and press my back against the wall. She measured my active and resting pulse and blood pressure.
An important thing to keep in mind— the screeningt isn’t a competition. You’re not being ranked against anyone else. It merely collects your personal data-points. If you can’t do a push-up—not a problem. It is just one of 17 data-points that are eventually collected.
That sums up the exercise part of the screening. The other portion is really easy. You stand on a Tanita Scale. It looks like a bathroom scale but, as Susan explained to me, it does much more than weigh. The machine calculates one’s weight, visceral fat, bone mass, muscle mass and percentage of body fat.
After administrating the physical tests and taking measurements Susan patiently (and clearly) explained to me how all the different numbers added up to a snapshot of my fitness on that day. From there I could fine-tune my work-outs to meet my goals.
Except I didn’t have any goals.
Susan, once again, was really helpful.
A Wellness Screening is all about the numbers. Susan interpreted my numbers as steps towards a logical and realistic fitness-goal personalized for me. A good starting place, she suggested, was to drop a little visceral fat and add muscle mass. She suggested I work with a personal trainer who could help me incorporate free weights into my regular work-out. Then in a month, or two or three I can come back, if I want, for another screening and chart my progress.
To sign up for a screening, please visit Wellness Screening page on the website or the Welcome Desk to fill out the Fitness Inquiry Form. A trainer will contact you to set up your appointment.
By Lee Michaels, UVAC Member