A great way to maintain accountability to your fitness is to test it. I strongly believe that fitness is three parts: one part strength, one part cardiovascular and one part flexibility. If you're able to squat a heavy weight, but can't jog a short distance or bend over to touch your toes, you're missing a couple key components that make up your overall fitness. Squatting, running and touching your toes are just examples, but doing some sort of activity in the same vein regularly will help you maintain the standards in fitness that you've set for yourself.
Wall Squats or Planks are both great exercises that improve with practice. The improvement is a testament of improved leg and hip strength (wall squat) and core strength (plank).
Distance Test: I like to do a mile or half-mile timed test. How fast can I run a mile or half-mile? If running isn't your thing, try cycling, spinning, riding an elliptical or stair climber.
Sit-n-Reach, quad or hamstring stretches, shoulder movement...there are dozens of ways you can test your own flexibility. Many of us are naturally more flexible in one part of our body, but tight in another. Stretch and stretch often. Go back to the trouble spots regularly to stretch the areas that need more TLC. Over time, you should start seeing a significant improvement.
Where to start?
Test yourself. The results are your bar. If you want to raise it, work on related activities throughout the week, then go back and test yourself over and over again. Have the results stayed the same, or have you improved.
If you’re not already hanging out with me on Facebook, now’s the time. I’ll be posting some really great recipes and workout tips over the next few weeks, and I don’t want you to miss out. See you there. Traci