There are various levels of fitness, from “running a marathon” fit to “walking around the block after dinner” fit. The bottom line is that any level of physical fitness is healthier and more beneficial than being a couch potato.
Before you jump into any workout routine, it’s best to check with your doctor to make certain you are healthy enough to do so. Doctors will agree that “being in good shape” is measured by your ability to do the things you love and participate in the activities you enjoy. It’s always easiest to stay in shape than it is to get in shape after years of inactivity, but there is no time like the present when it comes to getting physically fit. Your family will thank you and you will live a longer, healthier life!
Here are some easy ways to measure your physical fitness level:
- Can you rise from a chair without using your hands for leverage? This is a test of balance, coordination and your muscle strength.
- Hold your arms straight out to the side, palms up, shoulder high and then “pulse” them upward 25 times. Turn them over and lift them, palms down. This tests your arm strength.
- Go for a brisk walk. If you can do this and still carry on a conversation you may be in good shape. This tests your cardiovascular health.
- Test your balance by standing on your toes for 30 seconds without touching your heels to the ground.
- Stand on one foot and clap your hands 30 times. Switch and repeat to test your balance.
- Hold a plank post for 30 seconds to test your muscle strength.
- Get down on the floor on all fours, palms directly below your shoulders and knees on the floor in line with your hips. Lift your knees so they hover off the ground and bounce them upwards. This will test your cardio and upper body strength.
The Centers for Disease Control recommend that adults get at least thirty minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity at least five days a week. You should also consider twenty minutes, twice a week of muscle strengthening exercises like lifting weights. Don’t have weights? Lift canned goods – start small and work up to a gallon of milk!
Staying physically fit and active will help you age in place as you will be better able to care for yourself because you’re more likely to be mobile and agile and less prone to falls.