How Fit Are You?

April 1, 2008

I test patients who are 70+ and are really fit. Most of them from the white population, obviously. As even in their old age, they like to keep themselves active unlike many of my patients of indian/pakistani background whom when hit 60, decide to sit down and rely on their kids and so do their bodies follow suit in sitting down ya3ni breaking down.

It’s nice to see them fit old folks full of life, very active, coming up the stairs as quick as me, having hobbies and a smile on their faces.  

This is a cardio fitness test I got from MSN, sourced from GMTV and American College of Sports and Medicine.

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This simple test offers an easy way to measure your cardio fitness—one of the most important indicators of your overall physical health. Cardio fitness is a prime bulwark against myriad medical problems, including but not limited to  the No. 1 killer in the United States, heart disease; more than 70 million Americans suffer from some form of it.

This test really couldn’t be easier: all you need is a 12-inch step (or stair) and a stopwatch. You’ll step up and down for three minutes. Alternate your feet and try to maintain a pace of 24 sets—that’s one up, and one down, on each foot—per minute. When the time’s up, sit down and take your pulse immediately: With your fingers lightly on the pulse-point on your neck, count the number of beats for 15 seconds, and then multiply by four for the number of heart beats per minute.

In this case, you’re aiming low. A low number suggests that your body is better able to recover quickly from exertion—a key element of a healthy body—so the lower the figure, the greater your cardio fitness. Once you have the number of beats per minute, it’s easy to gauge your situation.

Excellent: Anything less than 97 beats per minute

Good: 97-127 beats per minute

Fair: 128-142 beats per minute

Poor: 143-171 beats per minute

Very Poor: anything above 172 beats per minute

Don’t despair over an unsatisfactory result, however: Your level of cardio fitness can improve remarkably quickly, with as little as 20 minutes of cardio exercise four to five times a week.

Source: GMTV and the American College of Sports Medicine

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I got 136: Fair.

Darn, I thought I was fitter.

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