Fitness by the Numbers
When it comes to our health, there are dozens of numbers that swirl around us from weight to blood pressure to heart rate. But what do all these numbers really mean, and which ones truly matter when it comes to setting exercise goals?
Here’s an overview of some key fitness figures that can be used to measure the success of your exercise and nutrition program:
- BMI (Body Mass Index): BMI is a tool that measures weight relative to height and creates a standard formula for determining whether an adult is of a healthy weight (typically 18 – 24.9) or overweight (25 and above). To find out where you rank, call to schedule yourself for a SMART HEART Assessment with one of our certified Personal Trainers.
- Blood Pressure: Medical experts consider 120/80 and below normal blood pressure, but what does that mean? The top number represents systolic pressure or the active part of the heartbeat while the bottom represents diastolic pressure or the moment the heart rests between beats. The higher the numbers, the harder the heart is working to pump blood, which isn’t healthy for the long term. Studies show that exercise provides a drug-free way to lower blood pressure. A combination of cardio and strength training in our small group personal training is a great way to work out the heart.
- Heart Rate: A healthy, resting heart rate for an adult should measure in around 60-80 beats per minute, but can fall much lower with regular exercise (A racing Lance Armstrong’s is 32!). Our expert trainers recommend that healthy exercisers reach 50 – 85% of max heart rate for an optimal workout.
- Healthy Inches: Keeping tabs on the inches you’ve lost can be better than simply watching for pounds. Exercising means building muscle and losing fat and that may not show on the scale. Commit to measuring the circumference of your chest, waist, hips and thighs every four weeks to see if you’re truly slimming down.
To learn more about Heart Health, stop in at a Hot Topic at any Y on Tuesday nights at 6 PM. Or schedule a free appointment in February with our SMART START Concierge to custom design your YMCA Program get you started on your wellness goals with Y in a smart and effective way.