Resources >> Fitness
Measuring and Planning
Are you Ready to Get in Shape?
Print out our Fitness Self-Assessment Form and answer these questions to see how fit you are now, and how committed you are to a fitness routine.
Planning an Exercise Routine
Stretching is important before any exercise, even walking. Here are some stretches to do before taking a brisk walk.
Stand facing a wall that's an arm's length away. Lean forward, placing your hands flat on the wall, just below shoulder height. Keeping your back straight and heels on the floor, slowly bend your elbows until your forehead touches the wall. Tuck hips toward the wall and hold this position for 20 seconds. Repeat with knees slightly bent.
Reach and Bend
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and arms straight overhead. Reach as high as possible while still keeping your heels on the floor. Hold for 10 counts. Bend knees slightly and bend forward at the waist, touching the floor between your feet. Hold for 10 counts. (If you can reach all the way to the floor, try to touch the tops of your shoes...in time you will be become more flexible). Repeat this entire exercise 3 to 5 times.
Lie flat on your back, with legs extended and arms at your side. Place your arms around your legs just below knees and pull knees to chest, raising buttocks off the floor slightly. Hold for 10 to 15 counts, and repeat 3 to 5 times. If you have knee problems, you can lock your arms behind knees.
Source: The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports