Thursday, March 14, 2013

I Had a General Check-Up Today

This would be the first time since I started remembering stuff that I've had one of those. Typical guy behaviour, I guess. Girls get general check ups every three months, guys every three decades.

Tests taken

- Blood pressure + "resting" heart rate:

My BP came in at 121/57. I'm quite happy with this. I've had an interesting history with my BP. The tendency has been for systolic to be high (135-145mmHG being the most common readings, and I've seen it get into the 160's back when I was a gym employee) and diastolic to be low (60-75mmHG being common for me, although when I got my systolic up to 160, my diastolic crept into the 90's).

A healthy BP is about 120/80. If it's particularly low, there is more than one explanation for that, but it could be a sign that there's not much blood in the arteries to put any pressure against the vessel walls. If it's particularly high, it can be a sign of all sorts of problems, such as hardening of the arterial walls. This can be a  snowballing issue, because the higher the BP, the more likely the arterial walls are to become inflamed, which will in turn promote higher BP...bad cycle. So naturally I like not being in on that cycle.

My "resting" HR was something like 75BPM (I can't remember exactly what it was...maybe 174 or 176). Most people want their RHR to be around 60-80BPM. Higher than that is probably bad news. Lower than that in a sedentary or only lightly active person is probably bad news (you may not be circulating enough blood), but for an endurance athlete a lower RHR can be a sign of good cardiovascular conditioning.

- Something involving a stethoscope and my lungs:

I don't know what exactly doctors are listening for when they tell you to lift up your shirt and put their stethoscope here, there and everywhere. Obviously, something related to the thoracic cavity. There are some mildly important body-parts in there. Whatever the case, the doctor said all was good.

- Something involving my stomach:

Again, I don't know exactly what things the doctors are looking out for here, but all was good, apparently.

- Height/weight/BMI:

I weighed in at 71.5kg. This was after breakfast and with stuff like my phone and my wallet in my pocket. On an empty stomach, standing on the scales whilst naked after having thoroughly alleviated my bowels, I'd be about 2kg lighter than that (my last home weigh-in, on the 11th, was 69.2kg). My height was 172.5cm, which means I'm 1cm taller than I thought. Either there's been some errors in measuring, or my posture's improving (only thing that would make someone my age taller other than surgery).

That gave me a BMI of 24. Good news, I'm getting closer to being technically overweight. I look forward to one day being technically overweight, but with visible abs.


  1. I check BP and HR fairly often at home. Doctors here often have delusions of competence so I avoid them where possible.
    BP is always slightly above perfect but still in good, not like when I was into adrenalin sports when it was sky high.
    HR is usually around 60, though not as far as I would like. Stamina is not as big a part of my training as when it was sub 50.
    Height, about 5cm above yours, not an advantage in power lifting. Weight 82.5 and climbing, giving me BMI of around 26 or so. I never care about BMI, really pointless if you keep fit.
    Abs have mostly hidden away for the moment, they are just about visible and posable, but ectos don't tend to gain muscle without a bit of excess and I seem to be gaining faster than I have ever known, so inevitable.
    My tip for fast gains, spend almost 2 decades gaining strength without mass then stop go for bulk. The strength I have built seems to have made this really easy, comparative term, for someone who struggles to gain.

    1. I never measure my resting heart rate. The act of getting out of bed to get my watch so that I can count my pulses against the second hand would disrupt the whole "resting" thing too much for me to feel it valid. For best results, be asleep while measuring.

      One of these days, I'll probably end up getting myself a sphygmomanometer and stethoscope so that I can take my own BP, and do it the good old-fashioned way. I don't trust the machines that do it for you, and I know how to do it by ear.

      On Sunday morning I'll be going in for fasted blood tests, then seeing the doctor again next week for results on that. Whether or not the doctors are reliable, they're probably a better bet than going emo on myself and staring at the consequences thereof through a microscope -- blood test analysis is slightly above my pay grade.

      I like your "fast gains" method. Only takes 20 years of preparation. It's been about 9 years now since I first set foot in a gym as a member -- I'm nearly halfway there :)

  2. I use a machine, and real resting is virtually impossible. The bp machine give heart rate and I tend to do these shortly after waking when I do it so close as I'll get.
    Fasted blood test, they really give you the works there. Over here it's unusual to get more than a casual chat and that's in my annual epilepsy assessment they have to do to justify their inflated salary and inconvenience me in one hit.
    Not a doctor fan. Have known a few good ones but many of them seem confused if you aren't after asprin or methadone.

    1. GP's are a bit hit or miss. I became a bit more skeptical of them when I was doing my Cert IV in Fitness, and went to see a doctor over a suspected stress fracture at the bottom of my fibular (turned out to be a muscle tear; the muscle just happened to be so tight after the tear that it felt like bone, thus my initial suspicions). The doctor tried telling me that the lateral bone of the shin is the tibia, and found a tendon on the medial side of my ankle which she insisted with the fibular.

      To be fair, though, GP's are mostly there to sign documents for work saying that you need x days off because of a cold/flu, and as a gateway to specialists for any other purpose.


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