Tracking Your Fitness Levels

Tracking Your Fitness Levels

“Health is not a condition of matter, but of Mind.” –Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health

Mind Your Belt Buckle; Skip the Scale:
In this high-tech world we live in, we sometimes forget the simple ways to do things. If you’ve already started a workout program and can’t seem to see results, check the way your pants fit. Are they slightly loose around the waist, not as tight as they were? Sometimes clothes can show you results that the scale cannot. Weight variations are subtle. Strength-training exercises can sometimes produce a temporary weight gain in the beginning due to muscles retaining more fluid. After a week or so, it quickly readjusts and the excess fluid disappears.

Skip the Math; Get Rid of the Finger; Invest in a Heart Rate Monitor:
To get the most out of your workouts, you need to reach 80% of your heart rate training zone. There are three ways to measure your heart rate. Stop your exercise, hold your index finger to the pulse in your neck and count the beats per minute. The second way is to measure your pulse rate. The third is to use a high tech device called a Heart Rate Monitor. It consists of a chest strap and a wristwatch type band that automatically measures your beats. You can pre-set it to beep when you reach your desired training zone. If you don’t want to bother with mathematical equations to figure your proper heart rate training zone, buy a Heart Rate Monitor. It may set you back upwards of $100 but it will guarantee to measure your heart rate. Most Sports Specialty stores have them. Bicycle shops usually carry them and they can be ordered through fitness catalogues and magazines.

‘Take it to the Next Level’ Circuit Training:
Incorporate circuit training into your fitness routine for a surefire way to reach the next level of endurance, strength and weight loss. Instead of spending 30-60 minutes doing aerobics and another 30-60 minutes doing strength training, combine the two for a more robust workout. Take the boredom out of your routine by spending five minutes on aerobics (standard machines such as treadmill, stair stepper, stair climber, bicycle, elliptical trainer, cross trainer) then alternate with five minutes of strength training (free weights, weight machines, rubber bands.)

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