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Reviewed by Andrew Seibert on December 01, 2011


WebMD Health.

© 2006 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.

WebMD Archive

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If you're like me and have been looking for the right incentive to get back into shape, springtime can be a good time for turning over a new leaf…

Before starting an exercise program, however, it's always a good idea to check with your doctor first. If a gym is part of your plan, make sure you take advantage of their staff of professionals…

What we're going to do today is a fitness assessment…

I visited the Northeast Athletic Club to find out from a professional trainer just how badly I'd let myself go…

Of course nothing can begin in the modern world without paperwork…

The paperwork gives a trainer critical information about a client's health and current exercise habits. Your heart rate and blood pressure should also be checked…

In a good assessment you might get the feeling you're being measured for a suit--a birthday suit maybe…

This reading that we're going to look at is called the waist to hip ratio…

That's a polite way of telling you how big your paunch is…Various parts of your body are measured with calipers like these to determine your percentage of body fat.

You're at a moderate level. You can definitely work to improve this.

The key word being 'work'. I guess those couch arm curls aren't really working for me.

You're going to do your pushups from your toes…arms are out nice and wide and you want to aim to get about a fist above the ground…

It's not boot camp but there's no cheating…these series of exercises are designed to reveal your strengths and weaknesses so you can develop a program that doesn't overwhelm you.

Good, one, two, three. Alright! We're going to enter that in…

At this gym the information is entered into a computer with software that calculates your percentage of this… and level of that…

Not only should your strength be calculated…

But your flexibility should be checked out too…

Good…ten and a quarter.

You should also be charted on your current level of aerobic endurance. Different people require different things and a trainer can help you adapt your workout to suit your specific goals.

Aside from burning off calories faster, the right series of exercises can also help your body process oxygen better…

The muscles get real good. They get better, more efficient at taking it out of the bloodstream that's currently available to them that way the heart is not pumping so hard.

Remember, the scale isn't the only measure of success (at least that's what I keep telling myself).

In fact, muscle does weigh more than fat and inches can be lost before weight… I can't wait to see how I measure up next time.

For WebMD, I'm Damon Meharg.

Heart Rate Calculator

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Heart Rate Calculator

Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...