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Test Your Aerobic Fitness

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. John McArthur, 355th Medical Support Squadrons Radiology Flight chief, and David Friederich, Health and Wellness Center health and fitness specialist set up the metabolic cart prior to using the device at the HAWC on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 11, 2012. The Metabolic cart measures your aerobic fitness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christine Griffiths/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. John McArthur, 355th Medical Support Squadrons Radiology Flight chief, and David Friederich, Health and Wellness Center health and fitness specialist set up the metabolic cart prior to using the device at the HAWC on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 11, 2012. The Metabolic cart measures your aerobic fitness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christine Griffiths/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col John McArthur, 355th Medical Support Squadron Radiology Flight chief, tests out the metabolic cart while David Friederich, Health and Wellness Center health and fitness specialist, monitors his activity at the HAWC on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 11, 2012. The test takes approximately 8-12 minutes to complete. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christine Griffiths/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col John McArthur, 355th Medical Support Squadron Radiology Flight chief, tests out the metabolic cart while David Friederich, Health and Wellness Center health and fitness specialist, monitors his activity at the HAWC on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Sept. 11, 2012. The test takes approximately 8-12 minutes to complete. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christine Griffiths/Released)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- The Health and Wellness Center recently introduced a new piece of equipment; something that could help you improve physical fitness test scores. The device is called the Metabolic Cart.

This device helps personnel look at how aerobically fit they are. The cart measures metabolic systems, as well as cardiovascular and respirator functions both at rest and at exercise.

A combination of the Bod Pod and the Metabolic Cart can give some good insight on what things you may need to work on to improve your overall fitness, as well as PT scores.

"The Bod Pod looks at the percent of body fat, this measures your aerobic fitness," said Guy Leahy, exercise physiologist at the HAWC. "The two are a good combination to give Airmen different perspectives on how fit they are. It can tell them whether they are gaining excessive body fat and if their fitness levels lower. Both can have negatives effects on PT test performance as well as their health."

Not only will this device help personnel see where they're at aerobically, it could help them train more effectively.

"It's a teaching tool," Leahy said. "They're put through the test on the treadmill and they get a hard number to see where they compare to relative national norms. If they're on the low end, they can make improvements on this value in order to do better. They will also get an estimate of their heart rate which also helps them to train more effectively."

Lt. Col. John McArthur, 355th Medical Support Squadron Radiology Flight chief, gave the metabolic cart a shot and was impressed with the overall testing process and results.

"It gives you a real accurate picture of where you are, so it might be eye opening or encouraging," said McArthur. "It also helps you set your target heart rate zones, which helps guide your workouts a little more accurately. The staff here does a great job of guiding you through the results and telling you what they mean. They walk you through the test and everything. It was a nice experience."

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call the HAWC at 228-2294. Appointments can be made from, 7a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Wear comfortable workout attire and do not eat or exercise two hours prior to the test. Personnel will also be screened before testing to check for risk factors of heart disease.