Assess your fitness

Fitness & nutrition has always been an important aspect of maintaining our health but it seems to have gained even more popularity seemingly overnight. Signs on boulevards, flyers taped to telephone poles, personal ads, DVD’s, video games and even random yet urgent e-mails from someone named Fernando or Giles claiming to have the ideal personalized program just for you (and everyone else on their massive spam list).

While this trend towards embracing healthier lifestyles is certainly well overdue, the popularity unfortunately also attracts the get-rich-quick schemers and a calibre of trainers that may not be qualified or even concerned with addressing individual health & fitness concerns.

Fortunately, there are even more ways than ever to access & research programs to ensure that your program of choice is going to address all of your goals and that the individual running the course is reputable and seriously committed to your well-being.

With all of the information that is available, it can become overwhelming when trying to determine which program may be right for you. To aid in the decision making, we have compiled a list of 5 simple steps to help guide you in your final selection.

1. ASSESS YOUR FITNESS LEVEL
You probably have some idea of how fit you are, but assessing and recording baseline fitness scores can help you set your fitness goals and measure your progress. To assess your aerobic and muscular fitness, flexibility and body composition, consider recording:

  • Your pulse rate before and after a one-mile walk
  • How long it takes to walk one mile
  • How many push-ups you can do at a time
  • How far you can reach forward while seated on the floor with your legs in front of you
  • Your waist circumference at the level of your navel
  • Your body mass index
  • You may also want to consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program, especially if you’ve been sedentary or you have any chronic medical conditions.

    2. DETERMINE YOUR FITNESS GOALS
    Keeping your fitness level in mind, think about why you want to start a fitness program. Perhaps your doctor has suggested that you start a fitness program to lose weight. If you’re already active, perhaps you want to rev up your fitness program to prepare for a 5K race or get ready for a favorite sport. Having clear goals can help you stay motivated.

    3. CONSIDER YOUR LIKES AND DISLIKES
    Next think about the types of physical activities you enjoy most. After all, a fitness program doesn’t need to be drudgery. You’re more likely to keep up with a fitness program you enjoy. If you love riding your bicycle, consider a spinning class. If you have a blast on the dance floor, an aerobics class that includes dance moves would be a good bet. If you’re a social person and like to be active with others, a gym or health club membership may be the ticket. If you prefer to exercise alone or you find health clubs intimidating, exercises you can do at home may be best.

    4. THINK VARIETY
    Varying your activities (cross-training) can keep exercise boredom at bay. Cross-training also reduces the risk of injuring or overusing one specific muscle or joint. When you plan your fitness program, consider alternating among activities that emphasize different parts of your body — walking, swimming and strength training, for example.

    5. GO FOR IT!
    You’ve thought through your likes and dislikes and the pros and cons of various types of fitness programs. Now it’s time to get physical! Remember to start slowly and build up intensity gradually. Each workout puts you one step closer to reaching your fitness goals.
    If you get bored or lose interest in your fitness program, don’t be afraid to try something new. Reassess your fitness level and set new fitness goals.
    The result? A future of improved fitness and better health.
    I’m sure you are wondering at this point why we aren’t simply telling you to come to our club, we’re the best, nothing compares to our training, blah-blah-blah… Right?
    It’s simple really. We respect anyone who is looking to begin a fitness routine, train for a sport, lose a few pounds or just meet a few friends through an exercise class… Assuming that our methods of training would suit everyone would not only be arrogant, but also extremely unrealistic. Whatever your reasoning may be, you are still striving for a healthier you and that journey is a very personal one that begins with an activity that you enjoy or can learn to enjoy. Tour through our site, read what our members have to say, send us an e-mail, or even drop by to see us in action… Think about it, sleep on it, doodle it on your notebook. However long it takes, take comfort in the fact that you have taken the first step in improving your health and your overall well-being.

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