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Welcome to my newsletter! I've got fitness and nutrition tips to help you reach your goals. In this issue, I'll share five ways to know how physically fit you are.

With beautiful autumn here, I hope you get outside for some running, biking, and hiking in the cooler weather!

Five Goals of Physical Fitness
How Do You Know if
You're "Fit?"

Being "fit" means something different to everyone. You may feel "fit" if you can wear a smaller clothing size. To someone else, it may mean winning a 5K running race. Or reaching a target weight on a scale. Or simply feeling strong and full of energy.

But all of these personal accomplishments are the result of reaching a level of fitness in five measurable categories. When I first meet with clients, I evaluate their fitness level in these five ways, then I design workouts to help clients turn their weaknesses into strengths. When you score well in each of the five areas, the impact on your life is amazing, and your personal goals can become a reality!

So, how "fit" are you? Grade yourself in these five goals of physical fitness and see what you need to improve.

Goal #1
Cardiovascular Health

Do you get winded easily? Or is breathing easy even when you're doing strenuous exercise? The ability of your heart and lungs to fuel your body with oxygen is a key part of physical fitness.

To improve your cardiovascular capacity and endurance, focus on exercises which increase your heartrate, like jogging, swimming, and cycling. Begin slowly, then progress up to one hour, 3 to 5 times a week.

Here are my favorite cardio exercises:

Beginner and Intermediate-Level Exercises:
Elliptical machine
Walking uphill on a treadmill
Active dancing
Aerobics classes

Advanced-Level Exercises:
Jumping rope
Racquetball or squash
Climbing stairs or Metro escalators
Ultimate frisbee
Kickboxing class
Basketball (full court team play)

Find the Most Effective Intensity Level

There are several ways to monitor the appropriate intensity level for cardio exercises. The easiest is the "talk test." When you're exercising at the right intensity level, it should feel slightly uncomfortable to talk. If you can recite the Declaration of Independence with ease, pick up the pace! Conversely, if you can't utter your name, slow it down!

Make Cardio a Regular Part of Your Week

The American College of Sports Medicine is a trusted leader on cardiovascular exercising. They recommend this amount of cardio each week:

Beginner Level:
3 sessions per week; 20 minutes each session

Advanced Level:
5 sessions per week; 60 minutes each session

Goal #2
Body Composition

The more fat you have, the higher your risk for illnesses like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. I encourage my clients to be in the lowest health-risk category! 

Men should have less than 20 percent fat out of their total weight, and women should have less than 27 percent, according to the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.

If you're overweight, you must burn your fat through exercise and by eating small portions of lean foods. If you don't know your body-fat percentage, please ask me to measure it for you.

Goal #3
Muscle Strength

Muscle strength refers to the amount of force a muscle can exert in short bursts. I want you to feel strong and invincible!

Grade yourself on how easily you can perform everyday movements like lifting objects and moving your own body. If you're an athlete, you'll need to develop the strength to perform a specific task, like hitting a powerful tennis serve.

To improve your strength, you'll need to do resistance exercises using dumbbells, barbells, cables, and even your own body weight. I help clients gain strength by loading their muscles with enough resistance to cause fatigue in 8 to 12 repetitions using good form.

Goal #4
Muscle Endurance

Muscle endurance refers to your ability to perform a continuous effort without fatiguing. I want you to have enough endurance to enjoy your favorite activities or excel at your sport.

In everyday life, you'd know if you lack muscle endurance if your legs get tired walking up a few flights of stairs or carrying bags. If you want to perform well in sports, you need a high endurance level to outlast your competition.

To improve your muscle endurance, practice moderate-level exercises, gradually increasing the duration of your training. If you're an athlete, focus on movements specific to your sport. Each time you train, go a bit longer and allow your body to adapt.

Goal #5

Flexibility is the ability to move your joints easily through their entire range of motion. I want you to be able to move freely, without tightness and pain!

Grade yourself on how freely you can move your body. Do you feel stiff and tight just bending over to reach for an object? If you're an athlete, do you lack the range of motion to perform a specific movement well? Tightness not only restricts the activities we want to do, but, I believe, causes the mind to feel tension too.

Flexibility training should be included in all fitness programs to prevent the loss of joint mobility and injuries. Stretching at the end of your workout is preferred, since the muscles are warm and pliable. You don't want to stretch cold muscles.

Earn FREE Sessions! Get a friend into fitness, and earn free training sessions with me at the same time! I'll give you a free training session for each new client you refer to me.

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Phone: 202-232-1773