Spring is here, and warmer days of sunshine are beckoning. It’s time to get outside for a little exercise! That doesn’t mean try to run around the block right away, though. The key to success is to safely build from your current fitness level. Think about how much time you spend
sitting. How often are you active, and just what activities do you undertake?
Next you’ll want to test your fitness. According to the National Institute on Aging, here are the areas to focus on:
Endurance. Pick a course – maybe once around the block or walking from one end of the mall to another. Time how long it takes you to walk it.
Upper-body strength. Count how many arm curls you can do in two minutes without hurting yourself. Click here for directions.
Lower-body strength. Count how many chair stands you can do in two minutes without hurting yourself. Click here for directions.
Balance. How long can you safely stand on one foot? Stand next to something sturdy you can hold on to in case you lose your balance.
Flexibility. Sit toward the front edge of a sturdy chair, stretching one leg straight in front of you with your heel on the floor and your toes pointing up. Bend the other leg and place your foot flat on the floor. Slowly bend from your hips and reach toward the toes pointing upwards. How far can you reach before you feel a stretch?
Now look at your results. If the exercises were hard, do what’s comfortable and slowly build up. If they were easy, then your fitness level is higher. You can be more ambitious and challenge yourself.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see initial progress; be patient with your body and allow it to adapt to its new routine. If you are faithful to an exercise regimen, you will see results. For more information to inspire your exercise program, visit Go4Life.