For Seniors Only – Test Your Fitness At Home

Older adults need to have adequate strength, flexibility, and endurance to accomplish everyday tasks. Assessing these components of fitness can detect weaknesses which can be treated before causing serious functional limitations.

How can you test your fitness, flexibility or strength as you get older?  Most health clubs have a standard health assessment that incorporates some of these components but you can always assess yourself at home.

For instance, time how long it takes you to go from A to B on your morning walk? Then assess how you feel at the end of it eg slightly breathless, huffy and puffy or very breathless.  Wait 1 minute then assess how you feel again, eg back to normal, slightly breathless or huffy and puffy.  Plot your progress over a 6 week period doing this activity 2 x week and see if you improve your time from A to B,  how you feel when you finished and how you feel 1 minute afterwards.  

Below is a strength assessment taken from a LifeSpan Wellness Program at Fullerton University in the USA, by Dr Roberta Rikli and Dr Jessie Jones in 2002.   Make sure you go for a 5 minute warm up walk before your start and stop if anything hurts.

Place a chair against a wall, or otherwise stabilize it for safety. Sit in the middle of the seat, with your feet shoulder width apart and flat on the floor. Cross your arms at your wrists and hold close to your chest.  Count how many completed chair stands you can do in 30 seconds.
          Men’s Results         Women’s Results
Age 60-64     av 14-19        av 12-17
Age 75-79     av 11-17        av 11-17

Record your results and repeat these 2 assessments in 6 months to see if you have increased or decreased your abilities in these areas.

Get started on your Seniors Fitness Assessment as soon as you can and then redo in 3 months to gauge the changes.  Give Glenn a call at Coffs Coast Health Club on 66586222 if you need a hand.


Written by Glenn Barnett, Coffs Coast Health Club


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