DEXA Body Composition Scan

The DEXA body scan is the most accurate method to measure body composition and distribution of fat and muscle mass. Read about my scan and learn more about the DEXA body composition scan.

You may have seem TV commercials for the Cenegenics Medical Institute in Boston.

They provide a variety of services from nutrition coaching, metabolism and exercise studies and healthy aging strategies.

One of the services they provide to assess patients physical condition is the Body Composition DEXA Scan.

The DEXA scan is considered the Gold Standard in body composition measurement and is commonly used to measure bone density. Increasingly it is being used to measure body composition.

I received a Body Composition DEXA Scan at Cenegenics Boston as compensation for writing this review.

Cenegenics has offered the DEXA Scan to their clients since 2011 and to the general public since 2015. In 2012 when I first wrote about body composition studies, no one in the Boston area offered the DEXA scan.

Cenegenics Boston provides a single scan for $175, two for $300 and four for $500. If you get a 10 scan package the cost is $99 per scan.

Why get a DEXA Body Composition Scan

The DEXA Scan is performed using a GE Lunar Prodigy Advance. This machine exposes the body to 1/10 the x-ray radiation of a chest x-ray. So the exposure is minimal.

DEXA Body Composition Scan, Cenegenics BostonDEXA Scan gives you the most precise information about your body fat, muscle, and bone composition, and lets you track changes in body composition over time.

Fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and dieters often use body composition scans to get a baseline of where they are now, and to objectively measure their progress.

Scanning every three to six months is a good way to monitor and evaluate your progress.

Some of us need to monitor our bone density or body fat. Athletes want to measure their body fat and muscle composition.

The primary advantage of DEXA Scan over fat estimating devices such as bioimpedance scales, calipers, tape measure, or displacement estimate devices such as hydrostatic dunk tank or Bod Pod is that the DEXA Scan is actually measuring your body fat and giving you precise measurements.

DEXA Scan gives you precise measurements of fat and muscle distribution around your body.

The DEXA Scan scan also shows muscle asymmetries between your left and right sides. These asymmetries throw weight distribution off, cause muscle miscoordination, and create unnatural stresses that lead to injury.

As a true body composition analysis, you can track potentially dangerous visceral fat around your vital organs. This cannot be done with any of the other body composition measurement tools.

You get a better sense of where you are now. And you can track the improvement over time.

For the average amateur runner like me the DEXA Scan can be very helpful.

Getting a DEXA Scan

DEXA scans are available in most major US, Canadian and UK cities. Many large hospitals also offer them to track the bone density of their older patients.

Check here to find the office offering the scan closest to you. Enter your zip or postal code, or use the map.

Check here for how to prepare for your scan and what to expect during your scan.

My DEXA Scan and results

I became interested in body composition several years ago. In 2012 I wrote about the different tests available in a post titled “What’s Your Number?”

You can perform a BMI calculation online or your doctor may provide your BMI at your annual physical. However, the BMI is imprecise and measures body mass, not body composition.

Over the past 15 years, my weight has fluctuated between 175 and 185lbs. When I began running in January of 2003, my weight was 203 on the bathroom scale. In 2014 I trained all year and ran three marathons and my weight dipped to 169lbs briefly.

When I went for my DEXA scan the office scale had me at 188lbs but the DEXA machine had me at 183lbs. I’m also shrinking and am now just under 6′ tall! Between my weight and decreased stature, my BMI was recorded as 25.7. This puts me just into the “overweight” bracket which begins with a BMI of 25.

The DEXA scan gave me the following numbers:

Total Body Mass: 183.7 lbs
Total Tissue: 176.3 lbs
Total Fat: 43.6 lbs
Lean: 132.7 lbs
Bone Mass: 7.3 lbs
Fat Free Mass: 140.1 lbs

Fat Free Mass combines Bone Mass (7.3) and Lean Mass (132.7) to get 140.1 Fat Free pounds.

Currently I am carrying 43.6 lbs of fat on my body. I was shocked to hear that number. That’s almost a bag of cement!

Dividing 43.6 lbs into my Total Tissue Mass (176.3) gives me a body fat composition of 24.7%. Again, this seemed high.

The important part of this analysis is the next part. The DEXA scans measures both Android and Gynoid fat.

Android fat is primarily carried in the belly area while some is also carried in the chest and upper arms.

Android fat is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, hormonal imbalances, some cancers, sleep apnea, and more.

Some Android fat is subcutaneous (under the skin) and some is visceral and surrounds our organs.

The subcutaneous fats is what we see in the mirror and which hides our six packs, no matter how hard we work to get them.

Our bodies need some visceral fat for normal body functions. But too much of a good thing can cause the variety of issues mentioned above.

My estimated Visceral Adipose Tissue was estimated at 2.85 lbs. I was told this is the fat under my abs and that it should be about 1 lb! Yikes! This much fat in this area is not a good thing.

Gynoid fat refers to the body fat that forms around the hips, breasts and thighs. For men this type of fat is typically not an issue. We didn’t discuss this type of fat in depth, but the technician did say that my legs have a healthy amount of fat.

Next Steps and Moving Forward

My goal is to get to 175 lbs. That means loosing about 8 lbs from where I am now. Since my total body fat is 43.6 lbs I need to loose about 18% of my body fat to reach this goal.

With age it becomes increasingly difficult to loose weight. It also becomes increasingly easy to gain weight.

I employed some dietary restrictions over the holidays and didn’t gain any weight. I also maintained my light running routine. This put me in a good position to reach my goal.

By paying attention to my refined carbohydrate and alcohol intake and increasing my running, I will be able to get to 175 and maybe beyond.

My next steps are to train like I have a number for The Boston Marathon. I’ve also been eating more fruit and nuts instead of corn chips and guacamole. I will also be more diligent avoiding sugar as I have been a little lax over the holidays.

Each time I think about heading to the fridge for an IPA, I think about that 2.85 lb pad of fat between my abs and my intestines. Do I really want to feed that thing?

Knowledge is Power

You don’t know what you don’t know. Getting a DEXA Scan is a lot like getting a blood work up at your doctor’s. Until the blood work comes back you don’t know what your cholesterol or triglyceride levels are. You don’t know what your A1c or vitamin levels are.

You can’t take action and control of your health until you know whats going on inside.

While a DEXA scan may seem expensive, I would encourage you to go at least once. It’s not just knowing how much you weigh that’s important. It’s important to know where you carry your weight so that you can understand your risks and what to do about it.

Run well my Friends,


Renting a car in Europe?

Renting a car in Europe? Get the best rates from the major rental companies and 24/7 support from Auto Europe. Auto Europe can answer your driving questions also

Please note that this post contains affiliate links and any sales made through such links will reward me a small commission – at no extra cost for you. This helps me to cover the blog maintenance expenses. Thanks for your support.

Many runners dream of traveling to Europe and running a World Marathon Major such as the Virgin Money London Marathon and the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON.

There are countless other marathons across Europe and other ways to have a running adventure/vacation of a lifetime.

If you are flying six and a half hours to London or over 10 hours to Berlin, why not make the most of it and stay a few extra days?

You’ve paid for the flight and a few nights in a hotel, a few more nights could turn a destination race into an European adventure!

Renting a car in Europe

Imagine driving across France or Germany and stopping whenever and wherever you want? You can go from town to village to town all the way across The UK or Spain.

Imagine finding a cool trail or park for a run as you travel along?

How about driving to another race? In another country?

How about a road trip across Europe? How many countries can you run in in one week?

Pretty exciting isn’t it?

The idea of renting a car in a foreign country can seem daunting. What are the rules and requirements? Will your US license be valid? What about insurance?

How do you make sure you’re getting the best price?

Auto Europe

<a href="" target="_top"> <img src="" width="160" height="600" alt="Auto Europe Car Rentals" border="0"/></a>Auto Europe has been assisting travelers with their car rental needs for over 60 years and provides the industry’s best service before and during your rental.

Auto Europe has long-standing relationships with the top names such as: Hertz, Avis, National, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise and Europcar. Companies you know.

This allows them to offer you the best rates at over 20,000 pickup locations in 180 countries worldwide.
Their primary focus is providing a quality rental experience for those traveling abroad, primarily to Europe.

Auto Europe allows you to compare all of the top rental companies and know your price when you make your reservation without any hidden fees.

Auto Europe also offers a Ready-to-Go Pickup Guarantee and 24/7 service hotline from pickup to drop off.

Who wants surprises or hassles during vacation? It should be all about the fun and adventure.

With over 60 years of experience Auto Europe can help you through just about anything.

Rules of The Road

Auto Europe has been helping travelers for over 60 years. They know the rules of the road and can help you prepare before you go.

Their website has rules of the road for every country they operate in. Have questions about driving on The Autobahn? How about driving on the left side of the road in The UK? They have your answers on their web site.

Click the image to get the best price and best support on your European auto rental. And don’t forget to check the rules of the road and have a great journey!

Drive well my Friends,


ChafeX Product Review

I discovered ChafeX a few months ago and used it while training for the Boston Marathon.

ChafeX, chafing

Running involves repetitive motion and every runner deals with chafing eventually. Some runners chafe in certain areas, others chafe when they are wet.

I discovered chafing in 2003 during my third race, the Providence marathon. It was sprinkling that day and my loose singlet eventually wore away the skin on my nipples.

Somewhere after the half-way mark the person I was running with mentioned that I was bleeding. I hadn’t noticed until he said something and then each step caused unbelievable stinging.

Somehow I managed to get through the rest of the race and crossed the finish line with my jacket zipped up. My wife was horrified. I managed to bleed through my soaked jacket!

Women chafe at the sport bra line, guys chafe under the belt. I’ve even heard of butt cheek chafing. Thighs and under the arms are two other common chafe areas.If you run enough races eventually you will chafe in areas you could never imagine.

Feeling the burn

Over time, I discovered that I could run up to 10K and not chafe in most conditions. If it was wet I would chafe sooner. If I wore a tight shirt or Under Armor I could run further, even in the rain. I can actually run a marathon wearing Under Armor and not chafe.

Before I discovered tight shirts and Under Armor I used band-aids. These were literally a pain when it came time to take them off. I tend to wear Under Armor later into the spring than most people to avoid chafing on long runs.

Eventually I discovered a silicon roll on that worked really well. Slick silicon protects your skin from abrasive fabric. If I run with a loose shirt in the rain I might have some chaffing, but no bleeding.

Often runners feel the burn when they hop into the shower. You may have forgotten your glide, it may chafing,chafex,running injuryhave been wet or a tag on a new shirt or shorts rubbed you the wrong way.

You think you are okay and then the hot water hits that irritated skin. Yeeoow! You swear you’ll never forget protection again.


When I read about ChafeX I was intrigued but skeptical. With silicon you roll it on like deodorant, and go. ChafeX needs to be applied like sunscreen. It needs to be rubbed in to bond with your skin and may need another minute to dry.

I was concerned it would take too long to apply and dry. Like most people I never have enough time and I’m often in a hurry. I was also worried about following directions correctly.

running comfortSimply Better Laboratories sent me a 50g tube to try. This is my only “compensation” for this review.

It turns out that ChafeX is easy to use and even I could follow the directions!

A toe on each foot tends to take a lot of abuse when I run. I had been using 3M First Aid tape to wrap my toes and protect them from the friction. It turns that ChafeX worked as well as tape, and I didn’t have to worry about it coming un-done.

Sometimes on a long run I will get a hot spot on the soul of my fore foot. I started applying ChafeX to these areas also, and that problem was solved.

I rotate my running shoes and sometimes different shoes will rub different areas of my foot. During my Boston Marathon training I rubbed ChafeX on the area that day’s shoes rubbed the wrong way, and problem solved.

ChafeX worked well on my original problem area, the nipples. You rub it on like sun screen, let it dry and can add a second layer for extra protection.

Man or woman, no one wants to apply a roll on below the belt and then use it next time above the belt. Or use it ever again! The ability to apply protection in this area without a roll on really sold me on ChafeX.

ChafeX and the Marathon Test

The true test of any product is the marathon. Talk about repetitive motion. It took me 4:09 to run the Boston Marathon this year. ChafeX worked like a charm.

I didn’t wear tape on my toes. I applied several layers of ChafeX to my toes and under the belt. I ran for FamilyAid Boston this year and we had custom singlets. I couldn’t risk bleeding through my shirt, so I used my silicon roll on which also worked perfectly.

I had never worn this shirt for more than a 5 mile run. I didn’t want to try two new things on my chest on race day.

I have worn the 3M tape on my toes since 2005 or so. I had enough confidence in ChafeX to go without the tape, and it really worked. I have all of my toe nails! I also didn’t have any hot spots on my feet.

Check out this instructional video on how to apply ChafeX. Here is the link to their site.

I would recommend ChafeX to anyone. It really works and you can use it anywhere on your body.

Run Well my Friends!


© 2016 andrew nagelin

Do you get muscle cramps

Do you get muscle cramps?

Every athlete experiences muscle cramps at one time or another. It may be during an event or during a rigorous training or practice session.

The first time I ran the Boston Marathon, in 2003, my left calf had cramps that were so bad I thought I would not be able to finish the race.

A few years ago I discovered Hyland’s Leg Cramps tablets at The Run for All Ages. Hyland was a race sponsor and had a table at the race. I stopped by to talk to the folks at the table and they told me about Hyland and their Leg Camps products.

The Leg Cramps comes in quick dissolve tablets, pill or ointment. The pills are great to take before a race and the quick dissolve tablets are good for out on the course. The ointment can be used before an event or to manage cramping after an event.

The tablets contain Quinine which I had read were given to people with restless leg syndrome. They told me that quinine helped with muscle cramps also.

Since discovering Hyland’s Leg Cramp tablets I have taken them with me on almost every marathon and many half marathons. I put 2 to 4 tablets in some foil and tuck them in my belt. The tablets melt under your tongue in no time and seem to work.

A few times I have taken the tablets before a race if I think I may need them.

My testimonial

At the 2015 Boston Marathon Expo I saw the people from Hyland and they asked me if I would record a testimonial.

This is not a paid endorsement. I did receive a few bottles of the quick dissolve tablets and had fun doing the recording.

Have you ever tried these?

Run well my friends,


© 2015 andrew nagelin

2016 My First 5K Medal

2016 My First 5K Medal Design

It’s time to finalize the design for the 2016 My First 5K Medal, and I need your help. For the past two years I have put the race year on the bottom of the medal. This has worked well, but it’s time to update the medal.

The idea behind the My First 5K medal is to provide a medal for runners to celebrate their accomplishment, and help races with fund raising. I want to provide a quality medal that is not prohibitively expensive. Getting the balance between quality and price is a challenge.

Catalog medals do not have dates because they are mass-produced. A race like The Boston Marathon has the full race date, but they hand out 40,000 medals and runners pay a lot of money to run that race.

What do runners want?

I’ve received plenty of catalog medals and I’ve run plenty of races without a medal. This year I ran The Great Bay Half Marathon and received the medal on the left of the photo below. The ribbon held a quality medal and the year was on the ribbon.

I thought this was a great idea. It’s much easier to see the year on the ribbon and knowing which year the medal is from is all I need to know. Then I ran the Hallmark Health Healthy Strides 5K and received the medal in the middle for being first in my age group. Only winners received medals, none of the kids or other runners who ran their first 5K that day received a medal.

I like the gold print on the blue ribbon. The ribbon only says Hallmark Health and does not name the race, year or say 1st place or anything. Hopefully twenty years from now I will remember when I ran this race. The medal is a catalog medal which is mass produced.

My First 5K Medal is on the right of the photo below. You can see the year on the bottom of this medal. To keep the medal price reasonable, the year is as specific as I can get.

The problem with this design is that any left over medals at the end of the year are scrap. Who wants a medal with the wrong date on it? This is to celebrate an accomplishment, it’s not just a trinket.

My plan is to use a ribbon like Great Bay and remove the year from the medal. In its place I will put the celebratory laurel leaves. The overall look of the My First 5K Medal will remain the same including the same finish.

The ribbon will be wider, use a similar white font and the ribbon hanger will be a bit more substantial. Anyone who has seen the My First 5K Medal knows how it feels in your hand and the weight: it’s a real medal.

My goal is to eliminate scrap medals, reduce costs and increase fund raising for races and the charities that they support.

I’m asking for your opinion and advice. Will you take my survey and let me know how you feel about my new design?


2016 my first 5k medal

View The Race

One of the joys of running is discovering new places or new courses near home. Running is the ideal speed for touring the countryside or city neighborhoods. In a car everything flies by to quickly to appreciate and walking is too slow.

Often, runners will drive or run a course before the race. Many runners want to know what to expect and be able to anticipate hills and general conditions. Avoiding surprises can help with race performance. A hill on a map never looks the same as when you are at the bottom looking up.

Now you can re-con a course from the comfort of home with

View The Race

race videos, view the raceView The Race has created race course videos for about 200 races across the country. They drive the race route and provide a narrated, condensed video. In about 5 minutes for a 5K or 10K you get to see the entire race course. You may have seen their videos on some race event web sites. I always thought the videos were fun to watch and helpful. But getting a course video was rare.

When I discovered View The Race I felt like I hit the jack pot. Granted, there are over 40,000 races in the US each year and this site only has 200. But what a great way to scout out your next race.

If you think it’s exciting to go to a race web site, look at photos and read about a race, try viewing some of these course videos. That will have you reaching for your credit card!

Well over half of the videos are for New England races. I live in the GBA, so yeah for me! Other locations include California, Canada, Florida, The Carolinas and Virginia.

Check out View The Race and let me know what you think. Is this the coolest thing ever?

Run well my friends,