## Test how fit you really are

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One way of testing your aerobic fitness is to have a go at the Rockport One-Mile Walking Test. It’s easy to do and is a great way to find out your current level of aerobic fitness. The result of the test is an estimate of your maximal oxygen uptake – which is the amount of oxygen your body can consume and utilize in the working muscles per minute. Here's the realbuzz.com guide on how to carry out this fitness test.

How to do the fitness test
Mark out a flat, obstacle-free course that is one mile long (1.6km or four laps of a standard athletics track). Walk the course as fast as you can, recording your time with a stopwatch, and then as soon as you’ve finished, record your heart rate for one minute. To record your heart rate, place the tips of your second and third fingers on the palm side of your other wrist, below the base of the thumb. Alternatively, place the tips of your index and second finger on your lower neck on the left or right side of your windpipe. Press lightly with your fingers until you feel the blood pulsing beneath your fingers, and then count how many beats you feel in one minute.

Now get a calculator and feed your results into the following equation:

133 – (0.17 x your weight in lb) – (0.38 x your age in years) + 6.3 x 1 (for males) or 0 (for females) – (3.26 x time walk took in minutes) – (0.1565 x heart rate (bpm))

For example, if you are a 30-year-old female who weighs 130lb and you took 12 minutes to walk the course and your heart rate at the end was 135bpm, the equation would be as follows:

133 – (0.17 x 130) – (0.38 x 30) + 0 – (3.26 x 12) – (0.1565 x 135)

i.e. 133 – 22.1 – 11.4 + 0 – 39.12 – 21.12 = 39.26

Now compare your result to the values below:

Female

 Age Very poor Poor Fair Good Excellent Superior 20-29 <23.6 23.6-28.9 29-32.9 33-36.9 37-41 >41 30-39 <22.8 22.8-26.9 27-31.4 31.5-35.6 35.7-40 >40 40-49 <21 21-24.4 24.5-28.9 29-32.8 32.9-36.9 >36.9 50-59 <20.2 20.2-22.7 22.8-26.9 27-31.4 31.5-35.7 >35.7 60+ <17.5 17.5-20.1 20.2-24.4 24.5-30.2 30.3-31.4 >31.4

Male

 Age Very poor Poor Fair Good Excellent Superior 20-29 <33 33-36.4 36.5-42.4 42.5-46.4 46.5-52.4 >52.4 30-39 <31.5 31.5-35.4 35.5-40.9 41-44.9 45-49.4 >49.4 40-49 <30.2 30.2-33.5 33.6-38.9 39-43.7 43.8-48 >48 50-59 <26.1 26.1-30.9 31-35.7 35.8-40.9 41-45.3 >45.3 60+ <20.5 20.5-26 26.1-32.2 32.3-36.4 36.5-44.2 >44.2

So how did you score? If you are in the ‘Very poor’, ‘Poor’ or ‘Fair’ categories, it might be time to lace those running shoes up and get a bit more physical activity into your life. If you are classed as ‘Good’, ‘Excellent’ or ‘Superior’ though, then keep doing the exercise that you’re doing.