How I lost 18lbs in my first 3 months working at PAI Health

By: Anup Saund, Lead Software Engineer at PAI Health

PAI changed me for the better. Within 3 months of being hired, I lost 18 lbs of body weight and improved my V02 Max from below average to average (reaching a V02 max over 50).

I started working at PAI Health in February 2019 with bright eyes and a bushy tail. On my first day I received a Fitbit Charge 2 and was given access to PAI. I registered as a new user and began my health and fitness journey using PAI.

I live and work in Vancouver, BC. In addition to gym workouts, there are great running and hiking trails throughout the green and lush wilderness in British Columbia. You can also get your heart pumping by kayaking and mountain biking.

First, a little about PAI: It’s a personalized weekly program that takes into account your sex, age, maximum and resting heart rate to help ensure maximum protection against cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. Everyone using PAI aims to reach 100 PAI each week through various forms of physical activity. Reaching 100 PAI lets you know you’re doing the right amount of activity to protect yourself from CVD-related disease mortality. The more fit you are, the more challenging your workouts will need to be in order to reach 100 PAI. People are often pleasantly surprised that they don’t need to exercise daily in order to improve their heart health. Using PAI to figure out how often you need to be active can also help you save time.

I log into PAI most days of the week to check out my PAI Score. Initially, I was trying various activities to learn how I could earn PAI and which activities earned me the most PAI. I was super unfit when I arrived, so in the early weeks I was able to keep PAI above 50 and into the 100s. Six months in and I now find myself having to increase my intensity in order to earn PAI. It continues to get harder but it is totally worth doing a little bit extra to get my score up.

I’ve always enjoyed exercise--from trail running to resistance workouts and hiking on the weekends. In fact, I used to run marathons until a major knee injury followed by surgery in 2012 caused me to be less active for about 5 years. It wasn’t until I started working at PAI Health and learning about the importance of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) that my viewpoint on physical activity changed and my motivation increased. Sure, I’m healthy and fit but I never put a ton of thought into my V02 Max and CRF– which are keys to helping me live a long and healthy life.

In short, CRF is the ability of the circulatory and respiratory system to supply oxygen to skeletal muscles during sustained physical activity. Improving your CRF can help you live a longer, healthier life, as well as have more energy on a daily basis, which is something we all want.

VO2 Max is an indicator of CRF. By taking into account your PAI Score, VO2 Max, sex, age, maximum and resting heart rate, PAI Health can calculate your “health age” versus your actual age. Initially, my fitness age was 10 years older than my actual age when I started, now it’s only 3 years older than my actual age.

I am so happy– my body shaped changed, my skin is clearer and I have more energy on a daily basis. I don't think I would have had this level of fitness working elsewhere!

Here are some additional factors that helped me along the way:

  • Working in a health conscience environment with colleagues who take fitness and health seriously
  • Free Fitbit that was given to me on day one
  • Access to a well provisioned on-site gym
  • Healthy snacks, including dried and fresh fruit in the company kitchen
  • Healthy monthly lunches provided by PAI Health
  • Vancouver Sun Run entry subsidized by PAI Health
  • Weekly training with one of my colleagues-- we run from Waterfront to Stanley Park and back.

I’m looking forward to continuing on my fitness and health journey, and maximizing my workouts so I can set myself up to live a long and healthy life.

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