We can do some simple assessments ourselves if we want to measure our fitness levels.
Aerobic fitness can be tested during/after activity or at rest.
At rest, you simply check your pulse either on your wrist or neck: for most adults, a healthy resting heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute (BPM).
There are several options for assessing your fitness while active. For example, you can stop to check your heart rate (pulse) periodically during an aerobic workout, or just after a brisk walk if you don’t exercise regularly. You should be aiming for 50–75 per cent of the maximum heart rate for your age, which translates to
93–138 BPM for those aged 35+
88-131 BPM aged 45+
83–123 BPM aged 55+
78–116 aged 65+
If you’re falling short of this, you need to gradually increase the intensity of your exercise.
Alternatively, go on a 1.5-mile run and see how long it takes you. As an example, a woman aged 45–54 should be aiming for 14 minutes and a man of the same age 12 minutes – these results would denote good levels of fitness.
Strength and flexibility are also key measures, and there are a number of tests to assess these. Strength can be measured using sit-up and press-up tests, for example, while the ‘sit and reach’ test measures the flexibility of the back of your legs, hips and lower back.
Aspria members can get further information on such tests from the expert wellbeing team at their club – but as an example, if you’re a woman aged 45–54 years and can do 14 press-ups without stopping for a rest, or 25 sit-ups, this would be a good result. Men of the same age should be aiming for 16 press-ups or 35 sit-ups.