It’s 2019! With the start of every new year comes new promises we make to ourselves. We want to be healthier. We want to be happier. We want to be more organized (or is that just me?).
Promises mean new goals, and goals mean different actionable lists that will accomplish said goals. After all, if you do the same things you did last year and the year before, why would anything change?
Goals don’t have to be as big as traveling the world or losing 100 pounds (although those are attainable). They can be smaller goals like losing 30 pounds in a year, or traveling to three new countries in 2019. There is excitement in planning and imagining what life will be like once you achieve your goal. What will you be able to do when you’re 30 pounds lighter: Wear that little black dress on date night? Play soccer with the grandkids, or coach their team? Go for long walks on the beach without fatiguing? Travel the world with your partner with the energy required?
It’s really about setting goals to achieve the lifestyle you want. For me, I want to be in better shape to chase down tennis balls and be able to stay in long rallies without getting tired, which means getting myself in better cardio shape and building muscle. Here’s where the Cardiovascular Fit Test comes in.
Randy Woodrum, the Director of Fitness, developed this test to help members condition their bodies to meet their goals, whether it’s simply to lose a bit of weight or to live longer by getting their heart in better shape.
The Cardiovascular Fit Test
To get into better cardiovascular shape, you have to know where you are at the beginning. The Cardiovascular Fit Test that Randy has created is designed to get your heart rate up using both speed and the incline (he went all the way up to 15!) on the treadmill. Next, you get recover time where he lowers the incline back to zero. Finally, he drives your heart rate back up with running. The time it takes your heart rate to go up, then back down, then up and back down is a good indication of how “fit” your heart is. He watched my heart rate the whole time and noted the number every couple of minutes.
Don’t be scared if running isn’t your thing. If you have knee or joint issues, Randy can use a stationary bike or an elliptical for the test.
By the end, I was tired! 40 minutes of incline walking and running was tough! No pain, no gain, right?
It can be scary to be evaluated. Randy did a good job of coaching me through and reiterating that everyone has a starting point. From the starting point, he creates a cardio program that fits ME, and we set expectations on following through. What resulted was a personalized 30-minute cardio workout routine specifically for my starting point.
The workout pictured below is a list of intervals designed to burn through my sugars (the food I ate that morning), then go into fat burn. There was a point in the test where I got my “second wind,” and this is the point where my body switched from burning my sugars to burning fat. It’s important to get to this point and stay there for a period of time if your goal is to reduce fat (isn’t everyone’s?!?!?).
Randy also told me that the routine will change over time. After going through it 5-6 times, my body will adjust, and we will need to make it harder…YAY! Progress! There is room on the printout he gives to note things like average heart rate, peak heart rate, etc. This data is gold! If you can track it, you can improve it. You’ll be able to see over time how your endurance is changing. Therefore, how your heart health is improving.
The bottom line here is don’t be nervous to get your starting point. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but there was a plan to build it and milestones to get through. The same applies to your health. You will see results, but give yourself time and celebrate the small accomplishments along the way!
See Randy at the Fitness Center, and get your plan started!