I was provided a no-cost DEXA Scan in exchange for sharing my experience with DEXA SCAN for body composition and bone density.
Recently I got my first DEXA SCAN done and boy was it informative! Today I’m going to share what I learned about my body composition + bone density and how I’ll be using that information.
Let’s start with what a DEXA Scan is
This information came directly from the DEXA Scan website: A DEXA scan, or dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, uses x ray technology to determine the distribution of lean muscle, fat, water and bone in your body. Unlike any other body composition measuring tool, DEXA results are highly accurate and highly reproducible.
It works by passing two safe and very low dose x-ray beams at differing energy levels through the tissues of the body. The amount of radiation that passes through the tissue is measured by a detector. The computer then determines how much of your tissue is muscle fat water or bone and where it’s all stored.
Results you get from the DEXA Scan include:
- Total body bone mineral density
- Total body muscle mass
- Total body fat mass
- Total body bone mass
- Total body fat percentage
- Muscle and fat mass in the trunk
- Muscle and fat mass in your right and left arm
- Muscle and fat mass in your right and left leg
- Central abdominal fat measurement
My experience with DEXA Scan for body composition and bone density
I met up with Kalen from Apex Performance, Wellness and Rehab just 20 minutes from my house at their mobile DEXA Scan van. That was SO convenient for me since it would have been closer to a 50 minute drive to their physical location.
The actual scan took about 6 minutes. I just had to lay still and the machine scanned up and down my body. After it was done Kalen spent time going over all the results with me and explaining what everything meant. He was great and I would totally recommend Apex for my local Portland, OR friends.
NOTE: If you find yourself getting into comparison traps or if seeing other people’s numbers makes you feel negative, gives you self doubt of anything like that, go ahead and skip this! I love seeing this kind of data – which is how I view it, just data. Not numbers that define me.
This is a picture of my actual body which is so cool!
I’m at a healthy body fat percentage (22.4%)- my arms could use more symmetry but I’m totally not surprised that my left arm has more muscle mass and my right arm more fat because I typically carry all the things on my left arm. The pear shape android/gynoid ratio (smaller waist, bigger legs) is a healthy place to be!
Two areas I was most curious about – visceral fat (fat around your organs) and bone density. I was happy to see that they came back in good zones! Those are two areas inside your body that you can’t see looking in the mirror but predict your health – both your artery health and bone health. My real food diet and exercise keep my visceral fat low, which is awesome! Strength training keeps my bones healthy – another win!
How am I going to use this data?
That’s such a great question. Right now, it’s just data and cool to know. I feel really good in my body! I’m not looking to make major changes. Holland is 13 months old.m I’m pumped to have my old wardrobe back and feeling comfortable in it – things fit and I have so much more variety to wear now!
While I’m not looking to change my body fat percentage I do love feeling STRONG. And as I continue to focus on building strength while eating respectfully for my body (real food > processed junk) I’d be curious to see over time where my body fat % naturally ends up. I love how I look and love how I feel and I’m going to allow my body to find it happy place to be at!
With all that said, if I started training differently or had body composition goals I would 100% get another DEXA Scan down the road. It was fast and easy and I got a lot of info out of it. It’s the most accurate way to get body composition and bone density information on your own body.
Have you ever had a DEXA Scan? What are your thoughts on keeping tabs with body composition?