So I had my appointment with the exercise physiologists this morning to get some baseline data for the study. I was quite apprehensive before I went (and a little irritated that I couldn’t have any caffeine in the 48 hours before the test). Exercise and me are not the best of friends, and I was worried about being judged (as has happened to me before). So, the thing that struck me the most was how absolutely incredibly lovely and supportive they were!
We started with some body measurements – height, weight, body composition, circumference of waist and hips – as well as a questionnaire to make sure I didn’t have any medical conditions that could prevent me from exercising safely. They were perfectly happy with my request not to know any of my measurements, and did their utmost to comply (there was some talking about my waist and hip circumference, but that’s fine – one measured, one had to record). We also talked a bit about exercise modification to cope with my wonky knees, and the study organiser assured me that I’d be in good hands with my personal trainer.
I did two tests to set a baseline for my fitness – bench press and maximal treadmill test. The bench press was actually fun, even if I can’t really lift much – 16 kg x 10 reps. I was getting heaps of encouragement from both the physiologists, and I was pretty happy with the result (because, hey, I managed to lift something right?).
The maximal treadmill test is not fun. This is what you look like when you’re doing it.
Yes, you have a tube in your mouth that sits in front of your teeth. Your nose is pegged closed so you can’t breathe through it. A heart rate monitor is strapped to your chest (but I didn’t even notice it). Before we started, they explained that I could stop anytime if my knee started hurting (it does that). There is a warm up for four minutes that is a brisk walk at 5km/h. Then, the test begins! You have to run for as long as you can, as fast as you can. 8km/h is apparently quite fast for me. I think I started having bit of panic attack towards the end – my body would’ve gone for longer, but my mind gave out. Still – plenty of encouragement from the guys!
I need to have a blood test tomorrow morning, and then I’ll be allocated to a group – either to start the intervention straight away or wait 3 months.
How do I feel?
It’s a bit over 2 hours since I finished the tests, and I feel an increase in my mood today. I think the sunshine helps, but I did notice a definite improvement immediately after I was done. I definitely left with a feeling of confidence, and less anxious generally. It’ll be interesting to see how long it lasts?