Eat less; move more. Those are my words to live by. Now supposing you have chosen to try them out and you are actually moving more – maybe walking instead of cabbing it, or you have started exercising instead of couch-potatoing it. Now what? You want to know how you are doing and what is the next step. Is it time to exercise a little longer, or find an activity slightly more challenging?
The National Institutes of Health has some worthwhile suggestions.
“These simple monthly tests are good ways to see if you are continuing to progress and need to update your goals. Each month, you will likely see an improvement.
*Endurance. Pick a fixed course and see how long it takes to walk that distance. As your endurance improves, it should take less time.
* Upper-body Strength. Count the number of arm curls* you can do safely in 2 minutes.
* Lower-body Strength. Count the number of chair stands* you can do safely in 2 minutes.
* Balance. Time yourself as you stand on one foot, without support, for as long as possible. Stand near something sturdy to hold on to, in case you lose your balance. Repeat on the other foot.
* Flexibility. For this test, sit toward the front of a sturdy chair, and stretch one leg straight out in front of you with your heel on the floor and your toes pointing up. Bend the other leg and place your foot flat on the floor. Slowly bend from your hips and reach as far as you can toward the toes of your outstretched foot. How far can you reach before you feel a stretch?”
You are off to a good start. These NIH suggestions can help you on your way.