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Surprises -- most good, one bad -- on my fitness assessment test

Friday, June 11, 2010

Yesterday my company scheduled fitness tests for employees as part of our wellness program. The test factored in weight; body fat; waist circumference; blood pressure; resting heart rate; heart recovery rate; and muscular endurance, strength and flexibility.

OK, I'm overweight, but I already knew that. But I am now on the low end of overweight, as opposed to the low end of obese, as I was a few months ago. My waist circumference is still too big, but I've lost a couple of inches. My body fat is higher than normal, but it was 31.5, as opposed to 38 percent back at the beginning of March. I pretty much expected those results, though.

What shocked me was how well I did on the exercise tests! My resting heart rate is a healthy 60, and my heart rate recovery (after doing the 3-minute step test) was ranked "excellent." I also tested "well above average" in strength (pushups), endurance (curl-ups) and flexibility (sit and reach). I scored higher than anyone else in my office, even the skinny people! (Goodness! How in the world did I manage to do all those pushups? I used to be terrible at those. Guess the weight training is finally paying off.) The guy giving the test said he could really tell I had been working out. I was so proud of myself!

The one and only disappointment of the test was my blood pressure, which, as borderline high, has not budged one inch since before I started my fitness and nutrition program. What am I doing wrong? I drink water all day long, I monitor my salt intake, I eat a diet rich in fruits and veggies and whole grains, I avoid fried foods and alcohol, and I log over 2,000 fitness minutes a month. You'd think after dropping 30 pounds that my BP would be slightly lowered, at least. I do drink a couple of cups of coffee a day, but based on my research, caffeine only raises BP temporarily and is not a factor in overall BP health. I'm stumped!

I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. Maybe after I've dropped another 20-30 pounds I will start to see a difference. At any rate, it sure was nice to get glowing remarks on my physical fitness. I feel like framing my results. LOL
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