Taking a close look at your body with a DEXA Scan (AD)
Have you ever heard of a DEXA scan? I hadn’t either until they reached out to me and I have to say I am definitely interested in what they have to offer.
WHAT IS A DEXA SCAN?
A DEXA scan stands for Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry. It sounds complicated but what is does is use x ray technology to scan lean muscle, fat, water and bone in your body. It uses this low dose x-ray through your body from different angles and the computer then analyses its distribution as to where muscle, fat, water and bone is stored for you.
Carrying too much fat around your middle? The DEXA scan will be able to show its distribution. Suffer from water retention? The DEXA scan will be able to show you where.
WHY HAVE A DEXA SCAN?
Basically, what a DEXA scan can do is give you information. By measuring where you are right now, you can make chances to your lifestyle and track your progress. There are two main types of scans, the one for body composition and a second for bone density.
DEXA Body Composition
The body composition scan gives you all the information you need regarding body fat, muscle, and bone composition. It lets you then monitor these chances over time. Fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and dieters often use body composition scans to get a baseline of where they are now, and to objectively measure their progress.
This can help with:
- Weight loss – help to monitor progress by providing more meaningful information than the scale ever could. A DEXA scan can show your progress when combined with a good eating and fitness programme – you see far transform into muscle regardless of what numbers on a scale may say.
- Body builders – whether on a bulk or cut, body builders need information with regards to muscle distribution in their bodies. A DEXA scan can clearly show for them where muscle is building in a bulk, and check progress on a cut.
- Athletes – apparently what athletes use the DEXA scan is for muscle asymmetries between their left and right sides. To be honest I never knew this was a thing, but it completely makes sense when you think about it. Athletes need to know what the impact on their body is if they favour one side in their sport as an example. Especially as these asymmetries can impact weight distribution which in turn can cause miscoordination and create stresses on the body which could lead to injury.
DEXA BONE DENSITY
Now this one really interested me as bone density is important to use all. As we all age, osteoporosis is a real danger. It is a condition that causes a decrease in the density of bones resulting in fragility of the bones. Sadly, this isn’t something we can avoid as it does come with age. However, with information as to the condition of our bones we can take preventative action or receive a diagnosis that patients can take back to their GP.
The DEXA website confirms that bone density actually peaks at 30 and then decreases over time. As someone who is most definitely on that slope down after 30, this information has really made me think about my own bone density. DEXA advises though that strength training, weight bearing exercise and including plenty of calcium and vitamin D in our diet can help with our bone density.
WHERE YOU CAN GET A DEXA SCAN
As a global enterprise, locations in the UK are limited but there are opportunities to get a DEXA scan in Edinburgh, Pontypridd and London. So, if you’re in the area the it may be worth considering a health MOT with a DEXA scan.
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