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Low Fitness Level? Try the Rockport Walk Test

Fitday Editor

Is your fitness level low? The Rockport Walk test was developed for those people who are unable to run a mile to discover their heart rate and fitness level. It is good for both women and men, as it is relatively inexpensive, takes very little equipment and can be self-administered.

Take the Test

To perform this test yourself, the equipment you need includes a pencil and piece of paper, a heart rate monitor, a stopwatch, and access to a one-mile track. If you do not have access to a heart rate monitor, taking your own pulse is easy; count your heartbeat for 15 seconds and multiply that number by four.

Take your pulse both before you start the test and after, noting also the time it took you to walk the mile as fast as you can. You will need to locate a 1-mile track; it can also be a trail, or sidewalk, any place that is level where you can walk at the fastest pace possible.

Take your pulse and begin to warm up by walking in place for a few moments. Then, hit the track and speed up to the fastest walk possible, without speed walking. When you reach the end of the one mile, write down the time it took you and immediately take your pulse. If you do not have a heart rate monitor, take your pulse by gently placing your left forefinger and middle finger on your left neck just below the jawbone. Count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply that number by four.

History of the Test

Since 1971, The Rockport Walking Institute has many dedicated scientists and doctors doing nothing but research on walking and examining the information they gain. According to a recent report, walking is the favorite participant sport in the U.S.A. and known to be healthy and natural.

The Rockport Fitness Walking Test is known to be the best tests available for cardiorespiratory fitness and to determine what your general fitness level is. The RWI makes a test calculator that when used in conjunction with the Rockport walk test has the ability to assess your fitness level. There is a variety of other test available to measure your fitness level but the Rockport One Mile Walking Test is the best and most widely used.

The Rockport walk test developed at the Department of Exercise Science in the University of Massachusetts at Amherst provides a sub-maximum assessment for maximum oxygen intake for adults between 30 and 69 years of age. Health clubs employ this test using treadmills for assessing the fitness level of clients before assigning them to a fitness program. Even though this test predicts aerobic fitness for people of all ages, often it is prescribed for older adults, as well as middle-aged adults because walking is less stressful to the joints and feet. A visit to your family health provider is essential before taking any fitness test.

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