How to Monitor Your Health Like an Olympic Athlete

Credit: Roland Schoeman

Credit: Roland Schoeman

Meet Roland Schoeman

Roland Schoeman is a 2004 Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze medallist, 3x World Champion and 10x World record holder. He was born and raised in South Africa and attended the University of Arizona on a swimming scholarship where he was a NCAA Champion, 24x All American in swimming.

We had a chance to ask Schoeman a few questions – in between races in Dubai at the 2016 FINA World Cup – and hear more about why he tracks his health, what he discovered, how he plans to optimize, and his most important takeaways from the experience.

Why is it important to you to track your health?

“Performance in my career has always been paramount for me. With age, recovery has had to become a far greater priority for me. The quest to recover better, swim faster and educate myself on how and why my body responds in certain ways lead me to WellnessFX. With the WellnessFX packages I’ve been able to get a far greater understanding of my biomarkers and how possible deficiencies or elevates levels contribute to my performances.  

My journey into self quantification has been driven by a struggle in my performances the last couple of years. This slump has been the catalyst in my decision to understand every component of performance and address them individually in the hope that my performances will improve.

I felt that Premium Package from WellnessFX was going to give me the greatest amount of insight as to where all my biomarkers were. From this baseline I’d be able to gather enough information to start making immediate changes. I’m excited to see where this journey of self quantification takes me.”

What did you learn from your test?

“A handful of things stood out from my first test.

Negatives:

Positives

  • Body’s overall inflammation markers are lower than expected and within normal range
  • Liver and Kidney function are good
  • Ferritin levels are back within Normal range (based on previous tests – aided by donating blood)

While most doctors would look at my cholesterol markers and probably prescribe statins based solely on this first test, I’m excited to use it as a benchmark. My results will be shared with some of the top physicians and nutritionists I know and we will look at how to address to imbalances etc holistically, rather than individually which is so often the case.”

Did you know you can download and export all of your past lab results in your WellnessFX account? Learn more.

What’s your plan now that you have your results?

“First step in the process is consult a practitioner to interpret these results. Are any of the negatives on this test related in some way? If so, then why and how can we address them in the most functional way possible.

Secondly to work hand in hand with a nutritionist to address any immediate and long term nutrition goals (with the test results in mind) – are my cholesterol numbers a function of my diet? And if so how do we address these from a nutrition standpoint?

While WellnessFx provides an amazing in-depth look at my biomarkers I understand fully that this isn’t my field of expertise. While I have spent time personally researching my numbers and their implications I know that there are practitioners out there far more capable at assisting me than if I were to do this on my own.”

What’s the most important lesson you learned from testing your blood?

“The biggest thing I have gained from these markers is the fact that now I have a baseline. I have a benchmark that I can now continue to work towards improving. These markers provide a snapshot in a specific moment.

The real benefit in this testing and my markers will come over time where I continuously monitor my markers and document the changes and progress I am making. While my swimming career will come to an end I’d like to live a long and healthy life.”  

Read about the 8 Reasons Why It’s Important to Retest Your Blood.

What’s next for you on your health journey?

“I have done a DUTCH test that looks at Cortisol levels and sex hormones. I’m busy waiting on those results to see how we can use them in conjunction with the WellnessFX markers.”

Anything else you want to tell us?

“I wish this testing had been available at the start of my career and wish it was something that I had done yearly since. While this may not be the case, WellnessFX testing is something i’m incredibly excited about. I believe without doubt that the testing is going to help me perform better in the water as well as provide me the information I need to live a long, healthy and optimal life.”

How WellnessFX Can Help

If you want to get started by testing and monitoring your own biomarkers, check out the package Roland used. Regular blood testing empowers you to understand and improve your underlying health by combining advanced biomarker analysis with an intuitive health dashboard to track your results. Include a 20-minute nutritionist consultation for personalized recommendations you can implement immediately.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, improve your fitness performance, or just deciding to take control of your overall health, having the data puts you in the driver’s seat. Even WellnessFX’s most basic package includes more tests than the typical checkup.

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The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.