How to become a better You
I have a spiroergometry appointment in Zurich's District 6. After about two hours, I went home smarter, with detailed nutritional instructions and a detailed training plan. But let's take it one step at a time.
Searching for a better You
Spiroergometry has nothing to do with tarot cards, reading coffee grounds or any of the sort. It is a scientific analysis of your current health and fitness. By measuring respiratory gases during physical exertion, the heart, circulation, respiration and metabolism are investigated qualitatively and quantitatively. Spiroergometry is the gold standard in performance diagnostics. This method used in competitive sports and cardiology shows what you're working with and provides extensive data on your current fitness and health.
Why am I doing this? Well, I've been feeling exhausted and stressed out a lot lately. It doesn't matter how much I sleep, do sports or otherwise supposedly do something for my well-being. I don't know what it is, but that's got to change. Which is why I'm getting help from betteryou.
Benjamin Signer is a qualified nutritionist at betteryou. He accompanied me through the test. Before getting on the ergometer, I have to undergo some preliminary examinations and answer various questions about my life. How many times I've laughed lately is one of them. Well, that certainly made me think. Certainly not very often. Other questions concern stress, sleep quality or everyday annoyances.
Ben then uses bioelectric impedance analysis to determine my body's water level on the one hand and the voltage of my muscle cells on the other. The better hydrated I am, the more repair processes are going on. This gives a hint towards my system's regenerative capabilities. The higher the muscle tension, the better the cells are nourished and the more realistic muscle build-up becomes.
Ben Signer also uses potassium permetry to determine my body fat percentage. To do this, he measures the thickness of my skin folds at different points.
Full steam ahead
Then we proceed to the bike ergometer, mask and some cables included. Finally, we measure the respiratory gases under stress. After five minutes of comfortable biking, the resistance is increased every few seconds. My task is simple: pedal until you can't pedal anymore. Sounds easy, but it quickly got extremely exhausting. This is all followed by five minutes of relaxed biking.
«Do you have a music request?», Ben asks before I get going. I chose Rage Against the Machine. I needed something to push me. So I started biking, «Killing in the Name» serenading me as I went. About twenty minutes later I was done. Spiroergometry had finished me. I just couldn't go on. Exhausted doesn't even come close to describing it.
The first step to a better You
Freshly showered and ready to go. An espresso and lots of water in hand, I sit in Ben's consultation room again and look at my data. A lot of data. And here's what it looks like:
Or in simpler terms...
Now I know why I wasn't feeling all that great earlier. I eat too little and at the wrong time. I should start eating before, not after doing sports. Besides, I'm not working enough on my basic endurance. Furthermore, I should try to regenerate my mind and body better using relaxation exercises such as meditation. Finally, some constructive advice to work on.
My new plan: extensive breakfasts and no more interval fasting, lunch and dinner with sufficient carbohydrates, protein and fat instead of low-carb. Interspersed by small snacks with fruit. To this end, Ben puts together a detailed dietary plan for me, which I am to follow for the next six weeks. I also received a detailed training plan. It consists of two strength units per week with super workouts and two cardio units to improve my basic endurance.
I also downloaded an app with meditation instructions. Let's see if this will calm me down.
My diet and training plan have been individually tailored to me, my living conditions and my body for quite some time. Will betteryou make a difference? We’ll see. The beginning sounds promising, in any case. No restrictive diets, no boring default training regiments. I’m excited to see what tomorrow brings. In six weeks I'll be back in District 6. To repeat the whole process once again.