How to measure your fitness level

January 25, 2013

Many made a resolution in the new year to get fit and shed off those remaining holiday pounds. While maintaining a regularly healthy diet is important, breaking a sweat is equally as vital. Home gym equipment is one of the best ways to get an effective cardio workout. Doing so boosts your metabolism, gets your heart pumping and helps you lose weight often with more ease. TRUE Fitness has been providing fitness fanatics with durable, comfortable and safe treadmills, bikes and ellipticals for 30 years. Its ergonomic design, along with patented Heart Rate Control technology, provides a workout unlike any other.

One dilemma many may face when stepping onto a treadmill is not knowing how hard they should be pushing themselves if they wish to reach their target weight. Many treadmills offer incline, resistance and speed controls, but how do you know where these numbers should be at? You first must determine your fitness level if you wish to perform to your full potential and make the best progress.

Test your endurance
The best way to test your endurance level is simply by running. Men’s Health suggested running 1.5 miles as fast as you can while timing yourself. If you finish in 12 minutes or more, you’ll want to really work on building your aerobic fitness before moving to a higher intensity. Keep up your regular cardio routine until it you find it becomes easier. Then you can gradually start adding resistance and amping up your speed to reach an improved cardio fitness level.

It’s important to remember to challenge yourself when testing your endurance and exercising in general. It will give you a good idea of what you’re capable of and also work to strengthen your heart.

“You need to move out of your comfort zone and force your heart to work harder and act more quickly in order to improve your cardiovascular fitness,” explained Tim Church, professor of preventative medicine at Louisiana State University. “Your heart is like any other muscle. When it’s challenged, it grows stronger.”

On the flip side, you’ll want to be sure you’re not overexerting yourself during exercise. If you push past your physical limitations and get extremely fatigued, form can start to slip. According to Quick Men’s Guide, poor form commonly results in injury. Get to a speed in which you’re still working hard, but not to the point where you’re sacrificing the way in which you exercise.