How Fit Are You?
The weather is finely improving and the evenings are getting lighter. This is the perfect time to turn our attention to our fitness levels and start increasing the amount of exercise we do. Over the next few months in my blog and in my classes I want to encourage everyone to have a really honest look at the amount of physical activity they are doing and see where they can do more. It can be very hard to find the time and the motivation in the dark evenings of winter, but now spring is here, it can be easier to fit some more exercise into our lives. And for anyone who is going on holiday in a few months and want to be a bit fitter and more toned, now is a great time to up the exercise levels! There is lots advice on my blog about how to find the right form of exercise for you, so be sure to check it out. And over the coming weeks I will be looking at some different things you could try. For example, next month it is national walking month when we are all encouraged to get out and get walking to help improve our health and I shall be giving lots of tips and ideas on how you can do that during that month. Then in June it’s national bike week, so during that month I will be turning my attention to cycling on my blog. However there is lots of other forms of exercise and the end goal is to increase our overall fitness, so as well as walking and cycling I will be looking at all aspects of getting fitter during this term and urging you all to aim to be doing more exercise by the summer.
Today, as a starting point, I thought it would be good for us to being with a fitness test. It’s a simple test I’ve used with clients in the past and it’s a great way to get a benchmark level which you can then compare yourself to as get more active.
The test is quite safe for anyone who is healthy and moderately active. If however, you experience breathlessness or distress then please stop, sit down and recover. If you have any medical problems or are unsure about trying this test, please consult your doctor. Use the bottom step of a flight of stairs and step on and off in an up 2 down 2 pattern for exactly 3 minutes in a steady rhythm. Do 2 steps every 5 seconds. After stepping, rest for 30 seconds and then find your pulse (just under angle of jaw or on your wrist) and count for 30 seconds.
Check the score with the table below and find your fitness rating.
Pulse beats per 30 seconds
Pulse beats per 30 seconds
How did you score?
Poor to fair - You should consider beginning to take some regular exercise to begin to build your basic fitness. Average - You need to exercise more regularly, ideally 20 minutes a day, three to five days a week. Try to be more active generally Good - You are in good shape but there is still room for improvement. Excellent - Keep up the good work! So take the test this week and write down the results. We will look at them again in a few months time. Now decide how you are going to get more exercise into your daily life. Could you:
- Walk a couple of times a week
- Take up running
- Add another exercise class to your week (remember to talk to me about the discounts I offer if you come to multiple classes)
- Join up with a friend and come to a weekly personal training session with me
- Go for a swim after work
- Take the stairs at work everyday
- Park further away from work and walk the rest
- Take up a new sport
Next week we will be looking at the secrets of keeping motivated to do exercise, so be sure to check back with my blog then.