12-minute walk/run test – to assess cardiovascular capacity
A test to indicate your cardiovascular fitness
Kenneth Cooper – the man credited for inventing ‘aerobics’ – developed his ‘Cooper Test’ way back, but it’s still widely used as a measure of cardiovascular fitness. The test is mainly designed for running exercise – but you can walk it if necessary.
The important thing is to maintain a steady pace, rather than go hell for leather for three minutes and then crawl for the remaining nine. Cooper’s results are based on a mixed gender sample of thousands of people.
How to do this exercise
Use a flat, measurable route (an athletics track is ideal) or a treadmill. After a five-minute warm-up, set a stopwatch and run or walk at as fast a pace as you can sustain for the duration of the test. Record the distance and compare it to the values below.
Results of this exercise
- 1.46 miles (2.35km) or more = excellent
- 1.33 to 1.45 miles (2.14 to 2.33km) = good
- 1.32 to 1.26 miles (2.12 to 2.03km) = fair
- 1.25 miles (2.01km) or less = poor