Evaluate Your Progress
Regardless of which exercise you choose, eventually you will want to evaluate your progress, every 4/6 weeks. In order to achieve this, you will need as much information as possible about your body and your current fitness level. The more information you document, the more confident and able you will become in gauging your progress. This is where your journal will become an integral part of your exercise program.
One of the rewards of beginning exercising again is determining how much you have progressed. Also, the results will give you even more impetus to continue. You might surprise yourself by how much you improve.
Perhaps the most useful measurements for evaluating your improvement are: heart rate, Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure, weight and waist circumference. A record of some or all of these measurements in your journal will help you evaluate you progress.
Knowing your heart rate is an important indicator of your overall heart health, especially if you have any health conditions that include the risk of cardiovascular disease. Because of the importance of heart rate, my next blog will be specifically devoted to heart rate.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Your BMI is a calculation which generally indicates if you have a healthy amount of body fat. In your browser, enter BMI, your height and weight, and your BMI will be calculated for you. Also, a chart should be shown which will convey which group you fall into: underweight, normal or overweight.
Seniors’ Fitness Test
We seniors require adequate strength, flexibility and endurance to accomplish even ordinary, everyday tasks. There are many fitness tests Online which will help you to determine how fit you are and also how you measure up against you peers.
By far the most comprehensive test I have seen is a senior’s fitness test conducted by a very accomplished instructor, Cindy Brehse, a senior herself – with a huge following Online. I personally use these fitness tests so that I can evaluate my own progress. Type in your browser “Senior fitness test with Cindy”.
The Test Covers
- Lower body strength (squats)
- Upper body strength (lifting light weights)
- Endurance aerobic – cardiovascular conditioning (walking in place)
- Lower body flexibility (stretching)
- Upper body flexibility (stretching and reaching)
- Balance and agility (walking quickly)
You can gauge your fitness level in each area of this test. The next section of her video shows how you can improve in the areas in which you are weak. Charts are included so that you can readily determine your fitness level compared with your peers – another motivational impetus.
Caution: I strongly urge you to consult your family doctor before you begin an exercise program, particularly if you have not exercised for a long period of time. In addition, start slowly and gradually add more time and then intensity.