So, this morning was my fitness assessment at the clinic. It was a pretty simple test. First they put you on a treadmill to see how long it takes to get your heart rate to to 130 bpm going 3.0 mph. If it’s not there by 4 minutes, they jump the speed to 3.6 mph and see what happens at 5 minutes. Then they bring the speed down to 2.0 and see hat your heart rate is at after a minute.

After that, you do pushups. I know, I know, it’s always my favourite activity. After that, you do a sit and reach test (do you remember this from elementary school? it’s where you sit down, extend your legs, touch the soles of your feet to a block and bend forward to see how flexible your hamstrings and lower back are. And after that we did a one footed balance test.

Guess what? I failed. And it wasn’t even the thing I thought I was going to fail (the sit and reach test, since I have the world’s tightest hamstrings). Nope, it was the heart rate test at the beginning. It’s kind of weird, but ever since I’ve been using a heart rate monitor (very consistently since 2008), I’ve had a high heart rate as soon as I start moving. My resting heart rate is pretty good, around 75 bpm. My blood pressure is great (around 110/65 to 70). But my moving heart rate seems to start around 120. It stays between 120 and 130 for the majority of my lower impact exercise, like regular walking, which is what we were doing on the treadmill. And it stays there for pretty much the duration of a yoga or stretch class, where you’re not doing that much moving at all.

So, at 4 minutes I had moved form 118 to 126 bpm. Then the trainer jacked the speed to 3.6 mph and I went to 134 almost instantly. Okay, it took about 40 seconds, but pretty fast nonetheless. And when she brought the speed back to 2.0 mph, after a minute I was still at 121 bpm. Which is very normal for me, but not so great for the test results.

You know what I did awesome on? the pushups! I know. I HATE pushups. With a vicious passion, no less. But I did 7 full on-the-toes pushups before my shoulder gave out, which I have to say is pretty great because it’s usually about a 3-1 ratio for modified to real pushups for me and that puts me squarely in the “very good” category (according to my post-test internet research). And you know what I did okay on? The sit and reach test! I got 12 inches or about 30 cm of reach, which is squarely in the “average” range for an adult woman. Hot damn.

As per the norm, no probs with the balance test. I continue to be confused that balance is even tested (my physio tests it regularly as well), but apparently I have Kelly (my first personal trainer) to thank for my great results. Kelly and I did about a year of one-legged squats, and you learn to balance right quick because it’s easier than falling over.

So, the trainer’s assessment: I need to do more low impact activity that will generate a steady heart rate. Like (kill me now) walking. Or (oh god, stab me in the eye, please!) yoga. This should bring down my “moving” heart rate and should help me pass this test again in six months. I think. Maybe.

Yoga? Seriously?

Seriously.

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