Glycemic Index Workout Tool

This tool was invented by the Exercise Science Center of Fircrest Washington, and is used to provide the user with a tool to provide valuable information from a single bout of aerobic exercise.  Currently, there are two versions available, Version One uses work estimates incorporating watts, (cyclists, health club equipment), and Version Two works with walking and running speeds and grades. Among the many things that it can provide includes:

  • Calculates Body Fat
  • Calculates Ideal Percent Body Fat and Ideal body weight
  • Calculates allometric scaling exponent to individualize exercise data
  • Calculates accurately the calories burned during activity
  • Calculates fat, carbohydrates and protein utilized during activity
  • Gives recommended Glycemic Index number for meal preceding activity
  • Calculates fluid loss during activity
  • Calculates the fitness level of the individual
  • Calculates the % of maximum heart rate of activity
  • Calculates the Efficiency Index of the individual’s cardiorespiratory response to an exercise bout.

Calculates Body Fat

Equations were constructed for males and females using three to four skinfold sites that can be performed on oneself.  The Accumeasure caliper can be purchased on ebay for around one dollar, and will work well for this application.  For males the four sites are the 1)  biceps, (vertical fold midway between the olecranon process, and the Acromion process on the midline of the biceps muscle), 2)  abdomen (one inch vertical fold lateral to the naval on the right side), 3) vertical fold midway between the groin and the superior border of the patella on the midline of the thigh, and 4)  chest, (midway point between the nipple and the armpit on the lateral border of the pectoralis).

Accumeasure Skinfold Caliper

For females the three sites are the 1) triceps, (taken halfway between the point of the elbow and the Acromion process on the midline of the triceps muscle, 2) waist, (taken one inch above and following the slant of the hip bone at the midline of the body), 3) thigh, (same as for males).  An estimated body fat will be computed with a standard error of measurement of 2.2 and 2.1 for males and females respectively, from a database of over 1800 subjects.   For more accurate results a eight site skinfold caliper assessment can be obtained at the Exercise Science Center in Fircrest, WA. for a cost of 15 dollars.

Calculates Ideal Percent Body Fat and Ideal Body Weight

The recommendation of ideal body fat will be computed for your specific age and sex.  An ideal body weight will be estimated for ideal health and longevity, and will incorporate skinfold thickness and BMI values obtained from inputted values.

Calculates Allometric Scaling Exponent to Individualize Exercise Data

Body dimensions can dramatically dramatically the accuracy in measurements of calories and work from established norms.  Smaller individuals are more metabolically active per pound than larger subjects, and exercise intensity can alter the exponential relationships that exist between body dimension and metabolic rates.  In general smaller individuals are underestimated and larger individuals are overestimated in calorie consumption estimates.

Calculates Accurately the Calories Burned During Activity

Just because a subject is twice as big as another does not infer that they would burn twice the calories at a given workload.  The Glycemic Index Tool will calculate the correct allometric scaling constant to use for each individual and ensure a much higher level of accuracy.  It would be nearly impossible for two individuals to obtain identical estimates in a given exercise bout, as each users values are specific to their own body.  If twice the weight for an individual is input and the calorie estimates are doubled the calorie estimates are inferior in the measurements.

Calculates Fat, Carbohydrates and Protein Utilized During Activity

Fit individuals burn higher percentage of fats at submaximal workloads than less fit individuals.  At higher exercise intensities, (above anaerobic threshold) nearly all of the calories are coming from carbohydrates whether the subject is fit or not.  Higher exercise intensities are also associated with an increase in protein breakdown as the branched chain amino acids may supplement the need for the increased demand for carbohydrates.  The Glycemic Index Tool will provide the user good estimates of the number of calories and a breakdown of what foodstuffs the calories are coming from (i.e. fat, carbohydrates and proteins) in an typical exercise session.

Gives Recommended Glycemic Index Number for Meal Preceding Activity

The Glycemic Index is a number that equates to the amount of time to get calories from the diet to enter the blood stream.  The Glycemic Index is reported on a 1 to 100 continuum, where a 100 score is equal to the time to digest pure white table sugar, while lower numbers would be foods that breakdown slowly, (for example peanuts with a Glycemic index of around 18).  An actual and a recommended Glycemic Index numbers are provided for the user.  Actual numbers tell the user how the body is using fuel.  For example an inactive obese subject would have a deficient oxygen delivery system, and would be using predominately carbohydrates for fuel throughout the day.  Where as an elite athlete would have a highly developed oxygen delivery system and would burn a larger percentage of daily calories in fats when not exercise training.

Recommended values would encourage the inactive obese subject to eat lower glycemic meals to avoid excess carbohydrates as fat, and have more time to burn off dietary calories.  This would also ease the demand on the pancreas and insulin receptors and possibly avoid adult onset diabetes.  Elite athletes, on the other hand, would burn a large percentage of daily calories from fat stores, but need high consumption of carbohydrates to fulfill their energy needs while training.  The Glycemic Index Tool can account for an individual’s specific caloric needs relative to their physical size, exercise activity and current state of aerobic fitness.

Calculates Fluid Loss During Activity

The Glycemic Index Tool will also calculate the fluid lost during your exercise session.  By imputing the temperature and humidity from your local weather application, you can get reliable fluid loss estimates.  The estimates are specific to your individual fluid loss needs, and incorporate allometrically scaled caloric consumption, temperature and humidity measurements.  The recommended fluid replacement numbers are reported in ounces.

Calculates the Fitness Level of the Individual

The Glycemic Index Tool provides the user with an estimated maximum MET’s value based on the heart rate response to an exercise bout.  Comparisons to a subject population of similar aged males and females is provided to help the user gauge their current level of fitness.

Calculates the Percent of Maximum Heart Rate of Activity

The calculation of the percent of maximum heart rate is used incorporating the heart rate reserve formula.  If the user complies to the American College of Sports Medicine Guidelines for exercise intensity, (50-85% of heart rate reserve), the tool will provide accurate data.  Most well trained athletes will attain their anaerobic threshold at approximately 85% of their heart rate reserve; while less fit individuals will achieve oxygen debt as low as 65% of their heart rate reserve.

Calculates the Efficiency Index of the Individual’s Cardiorespiratory Response to an Exercise Bout

The Glycemic Index Tool will also provide the user with an “Efficiency Index” of their fitness level based on the workout performance recorded.   Comparisons will be generated using a scale where a score of 100 equates to an effort equivalent to obtaining an excellent fitness classification for cardiorespiratory fitness.  Well-trained athletes can often exceed a 100 score, while poorly trained individuals can score in the low 30’s.  All Efficiency Index scoring will be allometrically scaled to population norms based on sex and age.  This tool is sensitive enough that a good nights sleep before a usual workout, or hydrating well before a workout should show slight improvements in Efficiency Index scoring.

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