Fitness

Fitness: 101

Test your fitness: Five at-home fitness checks

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If you don’t know where you are, how can you know when you’ve improved (or, gulp, the opposite)? Find out how you measure up according to some key fitness indicators.

Check your resting pulse

A healthy adult heart beats 60-100 times per minute at rest. A heart rate on the lower end of that range indicates your heart is working efficiently, although a lot of factors can influence how fast your heart beats, including age, smoking, cardiovascular disease, and even the temperature of the room you’re in.

Find your pulse and get counting. If your heart rate is over 100 times per minute, repeat the test a few times to see whether it was a fluke. If not, check in with your doctor. Same if your heart is below 60 beats per minute—unless you’re a pretty serious athlete.

Challenge your core

If your core (basically, all the muscles from neck to pelvis) is strong, your body is more stable and your balance is better. Which is great for working everything else—and for not falling when you trip.

If you can make it through this series, nice work! Your core is Hercules. If not, repeating it a few times a week will get you there.

Work those legs

Using a chair to make sure you squat to the same height each time, do as many squats as you can—heels down, hands on hips, butt touching the chair at the bottom of each movement.

How’d you do? Depends on your sex and age. If you’re a 41-year-old man, for instance, and can do 25 squats—congrats! You’re above average. But you knew that, right?

Push up and up and up

Here’s an unexpected tidbit: Researchers found a link between being able to knock out a bunch of push-ups and whether you’ll have a heart attack. (More push-ups mean less risk, to be clear.) So check your form, get on the ground, and see how many push-ups you can do before your arms go noodly. The test was conducted only on men, but 24 is a comparable goal for women. 

Check your flexibility

Hamstring and lower-back flexibility help prevent back trouble and keep you stable. You need a yardstick for this test. Put it on the floor and tape it across the 15-inch mark; your feet will align with this mark.

Sit on the floor with your legs straight out and slowly reach forward as far as you can. Repeat the test twice, recording your reach each time. Check your best score against this chart.

How’s your level of fitness right now? High or low, we want to know—and we can help you live healthy! Let us know on social media and use the hashtag #HancockHealthChallenge.

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