I did it. I gave myself a fitness test. Woo-hoo! Please don’t judge me, after all I am a former Physical Education teacher – and it’s “how we roll!”
I am using the results from the test to reset my goals. I have a new baseline, my retirement baseline, if you will.
Here is the very simple test I used (and I highly recommend it) – the Rockport one mile walk test.
Officially known as – The Rockport Fitness Walking Test (RFWT), it measures VO2 or aerobic capacity. This is the maximum capacity of a person’s body to move and use oxygen during exercise. The higher the number the more aerobically fit the individual.
The RFWT was created in Massachusetts by exercise physiologists and cardiologists, the researchers were looking for a safe, low impact way to judge VO2 and fitness. They chose a walking test because it was a well liked exercise and it appealed to the broadest group of users.
The RFWT allows people who are not regular exercisers to get an idea of their aerobic capacity. People with injuries or medical limitations who are unable to run might also find this test user friendly. Because it is low impact and because it is regarded as a a sub-maximal test for aerobic capacity, it is considered a lower risk test than some other cardiorespiratory tests.
If you have been walking throughout the summer for at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week and you have no medical limitations you are probably OK to take the RFWT on your own.
If you are unsure about your current health status or you have any concerns at all about whether you should participate, complete a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire first. The PAR-Q test consists of eight very simple questions. It will help you determine if you need to consult your physician before participating in any exercise test. Here’s the PAR-Q link.
Definitely, anyone with health problems, or anyone who answers yes to any of the PAR-Q questions should consult a doctor before taking the RFWT. As a side note : the RWFT is not accurate for participants under the age of 30, or over the age of 79. sorry.
If at anytime during the RFWT you feel dizzy, nauseous, or light-headed, immediately stop participating in the walking test.
Here’s the test info, directions and calculator…Rockport Fitness Walking Test. Good luck and have fun!!