Whether you’re already fully immersed in your health and fitness journey, or, like me, you’re just starting out, it’s likely you’ll want to keep track of certain measurements. Maybe you want to lose a certain amount of weight? Or maybe you’re interested in losing a few inches from around your tummy? Maybe you’re actually looking to become stronger and work on gaining muscle? Whatever your goals are, you need to be able to track them so that you can motivate yourself when working towards them. You need something reliable and something accurate – that is where the DEXA Scan comes in.
What is a DEXA Scan?
The DEXA Scan, or “Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry Scan” uses sophisticated x-ray technology to determine the distribution of water, body fat, lean muscle and bone in the body. It’s highly accurate and reproducible, which puts it a cut above other body composition measuring tools you might have come across. There’s a whole host of useful information to be gained from taking a DEXA Scan, including finding out your body fat composition, your bone density and your central abdominal fat levels.
How does the scan work?
Firstly, the DEXA Scan is completely non invasive and totally safe. Two low-dose x-ray beams set to different energy levels are sent through the body’s tissue. The x-ray radiation that passes through the tissue is measured by a detector. The computer then instantly analyses the results and accurately displays not only the levels of fat, muscle, water and bone, but also where they’re stored. The whole scanning process takes just seven minutes and your results are instant. You can then delve into your findings and discuss them thoroughly with a professional consultant.
Why would I want to get a DEXA Scan?
There are so many benefits from getting a DEXA Scan; from tracking your health and fitness progress to muscle asymmetry that may lead to an injury.
It’s the most accurate fat measurement tool available.
People wishing to embark on a lifestyle change could benefit massively from taking a DEXA Scan and talking through the results with a professional. The scan is the most accurate fat measurement tool – far superior to using a tape measure or calipers. Between the DEXA Scan and the consultant, you are able to discover extremely accurate information about your body fat levels and physically see any dangerous visceral fat that is sitting around your vital organs.
You can track your results and see the changes happening to your body – even if you can’t see them on the outside.
It can help you to track your journey by allowing you to physically see the results that you might not notice just by looking in the mirror. It’s true that often we feel we look no different on the outside, but the DEXA Scan proves to us that there are definitely major, healthy changes happening on the inside.
It can help you correct muscle asymmetry and avoid injury.
For those who are working hard on their fitness, the DEXA Scan can show you muscle asymmetry that you can work on correcting to avoid nasty injuries. The scan can also show you your muscle and fat distribution around the body – giving you the perfect visual guide you need to plan your workouts and lifestyle around.
There is loads of additional information available on the DEXA Scans, including who shouldn’t get one, how a scan can help when used in conjunction with your doctor or trainer and whether you need to be be concerned about the levels of radiation. These articles can all found on the DEXA FAQ page. You’ll also find information on the Bone Density scan the DEXA offers too.
Where can I get a DEXA Scan?
DEXA Scans are big in America, so if you’re one of our friends from across the pond, that’s great news for you! You’ll be able to find one relatively close to you, I’m sure. However, back in the UK, there aren’t as many locations available to us just yet. If you live near London or Cardiff, there are a few DEXA facilities available, there’s also one in Edinburgh. Helpfully, the DEXA website allows you to enter your postcode, allowing you to see the available facilities that provide the scans.