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Assessing Your Cardiorespiratory Fitness
copyright 2003 by Greg Landry, M.S.

Your Cardiorespiratory (aerobic) fitness level
is improved through a program of consistent
aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming,
jogging, cycling, aerobic dance, rowing, etc.
Increasing your Cardiorespiratory fitness level
is important because of the many positive affects
on your health and well-being. It has a direct
affect on your quality of life and it enables
to you to lead a more active lifestyle. It
also enables you to increase the intensity and
duration of your exercise sessions, which leads
to increased caloric expenditure and an increase
in your basal metabolic rate (metabolism).

Testing your Cardiorespiratory fitness level
periodically enables you assess your progress
and motivates you to continue to improve.
Dr. Kenneth Cooper developed a simple
cardiorespiratory fitness level test called
the "12 minute walk/run." The objective is simply
to travel as far as you can in 12 minutes
by walking, jogging, or a combination of the
two. PLEASE NOTE: You should NOT do this test
if you are not currently exercising on a
regular basis or if you have just started an
exercise program. Also, you should always check
with your doctor before making any changes in
your activity habits or participating in any
strenuous physical activity.

This test can be used on a regular basis,
perhaps monthly, to monitor your progress.
You start with a five to ten minute warm-up
of walking at a slow to moderate pace. Then
you start at a given point and travel as fast
as you can for twelve minutes. Measure the
distance that you traveled and refer to this
chart for your score:

Note: distance is in miles
"<" means less than
">" means greater than

Age 15 - 30

Female
>1.5 = excellent
1.4 = good
1.3 = borderline
<1.2 = needs work

Male
>1.7 = excellent
1.5 = good
1.4 = borderline
<1.3 = needs work

Age 31 - 50

Female
>1.4 = excellent
1.3 = good
1.2 = borderline
<1.1 = needs work

Male
>1.5 = excellent
1.4 = good
1.3 = borderline
<1.2 = needs work

Age 51 - 70

Female
>1.2 = excellent
1.1 = good
1.0 = borderline
<0.9 = needs work

Male
>1.3 = excellent
1.3 = good
1.2 = borderline
<1.0 = needs work

If your score isn't what you want it to be,
you CAN improve it by losing fat and by
developing a program of regular aerobic
exercise. Keep a record of the date and the
distance you travel for the twelve minute
test. Do the test once a month and I think
you'll be encouraged by your progress. The
key is to get movin'!

Author and exercise physiologist, Greg Landry,
offers FREE weight loss success stories and his
"Fast, Healthy Weight Loss" newsletter at his site:
http://www.FitnessForYou.org

copyright 2003 by Greg Landry, M.S.

 

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