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4 Gentler Aerobic Fitness Tests

Aerobic fitness tests help you test the fitness of your cardiovascular system. They come in many types from high intensity tests to kinder, gentler tests. Beginners, post and prenatal women, and the elderly all may require tests that have a lower impact on their bodies. For those who are ages 19 to 70 and are healthy enough for low intensity activities such as swimming, walking, yoga and Tai Chi, here are a number of low-intensity aerobic fitness tests.

Test #1: The Cooper Test

The Cooper Test measures how fast you can walk, jog or run on a flat surface for 1.5 miles. This test can be done either outdoors or indoors using a treadmill. Warm up by walking in place for 30 seconds, then begin your test. If you feel the need to pace yourself, begin your test by walking and building up to a run. However, if you feel you can run the whole distance, great! When the test is finished, remember to cool down by slowing to a walk over 30 seconds.

Test #2: The Rockport Walk Test

The Rockport Wall Test measures the aerobic fitness of your heart and lungs after walking at a fast pace for one mile. Begin by taking your resting pulse. Do this by placing the forefinger and middle finger of your left hand against the left side of your neck, just beneath the jawline. Count the number of pulses over 15 seconds, then multiply that number by four.

Begin the test with a warm up. Walk in place for 30 seconds. Then walk as fast as you can for one mile. Measure your pulse again using the same method. Your heart rate after this workout is a measure of your aerobic fitness.

Test #3: Squatting Fitness Test

The squatting fitness test is an easy test you can do from home. It takes only a minute to do, and like the Rockport Walk Test, this aerobic fitness test measures your heart rate. Begin by taking your pulse as described in the Rockport Walk Test. Then, standing with your heels together and toes apart, squat down while lifting your heels. Remember to keep your back straight! Return to your original position. Perform this exercise 10 more times. Afterward, measure your heart rate by taking your pulse.

Test #4: Body Fat Distribution, Waist-to-Hip Test

The waist-to-hip body fat distribution test measures your risk for coronary heart disease by measuring your upper body health. For this test, you will need a mirror and a tape measure that you can wrap around your body. Stand in front of the mirror and measure your waist. Measure it 2 or 3 inches above your navel. Do the same with your hips. Divide hip measurement from waist measurement to determine your waist-to-hip ratio.

These are only a sample of gentle aerobic fitness tests. Discuss these methods with your health professional before attempting any, to make sure you are in good enough health.

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