Take notice before your muscles begin to evaporate, and you need someone else to take charge.
Here are some questions, allowing you to make a self-evaluation, which can help you decide if you need assistance.
- Can you walk 50 feet in 12 seconds? This benchmark is a good indicator of the ability to walk for exercise. If you can’t, it’s time to think about ways to get moving.
- Can you walk 400 meters (a little less than a quarter mile) in just over five minutes? For endurance, the threshold is walking 400 meters or about one lap around a high-school track.
- Can you stand up from a chair five times in 11 seconds or less? This is a way to assess lower body strength needed for numerous tasks climbing stairs, walking, getting out of a chair or car, picking something up off the floor, getting off the toilet, or stepping out of a tub.
- Can you walk 10,000 steps a day? If you can achieve this benchmark, good for you. Studies have shown that it can help protect people from osteoarthritis and from developing mobility problems.
- Can you stand still with one foot directly in front of the other for 10 seconds without tipping over? If you didn’t sway or step out, great. Practice more complicated moves by continuing to take ten steps in a straight line without losing your balance. (Click here to take my Balance Quiz.)
Exercise is for everyone. But the truth is, some people, especially seniors, lack the range of motion, strength and flexibility to exercise. That’s especially true for those just starting out.
Assessment tools used by personal trainers are designed to meet the basic criteria that helps to measure physical fitness parameters and functions needed to accomplish activities of daily living.
Reprinted with permission from Lori Michiel.
Lori Michiel, NASM, has been assisting seniors in their homes since 2006 with customized exercise programs including those designed to address Parkinson’s, metabolic disorders, arthritis and diabetes. These adaptive programs are specifically designed to improve balance, circulation, flexibility, mobility and promote independence. Lori Michiel Fitness has over 40 certified trainers who are matched with clients in Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange Counties. Connect with Lori at www.LoriMichielFitness.com.