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Get Active. Stay Healthy.

Succeed: Hitting Your Goals


Keeping the Winning Attitude


If you have taken the time to walk the walk, and made a concerted effort at following the keys to cardio fitness and health to this point (Initial Assessment, Enable and Plan, Sweat and Execute), you should be feeling pretty good right now. After about 5 weeks of good effort, you should be feeling the improvements. In another 5 weeks, others will start to see the difference, and in the next 5-6 weeks after that, everyone should be able to see a marked difference.


How can you really tell if you are making progress? Of course, if you set a specific target, such as a 5K run or a 5-pound loss, then it is easy to know. But even if you didn't hit the exact numbers or target, or didn't have a specific target to hit, you can still check on your progress and success using these tips.


Take Another Assessment

Every 5-7 weeks, do an assessment. You should be seeing your VO2 max and your Fitrank move up as you get in better shape. It's best to do the same assessment you originally did for comparison sake; however, if you started with one of the beginner assessments (Rockport Walking Test, Beginner Cardio) and you are feeling strong enough to do an Advanced assessment, that would be an exception. Advanced assessments are more accurate and will give you better numbers going forward. Tracking your cardiorespiratory fitness is a great way to show progress and health.


Monitor Your Resting Heart Rate (RHR)

The better shape you are in, the lower your Resting Heart Rate (RHR). Your heart is a muscle, and the more you work it, the stronger it gets. A stronger heart means more blood pumped with each beat, and a designated amount of work can be done with fewer beats. If your heart needs fewer beats to do the same amount of work, it shows improved fitness. If you see it is taking you more beats to do the same amount of work over time, this can be a sign of cardiovascular abnormalities and/or the potential for heart trouble.


On the other side, a higher resting pulse than usual can be a sign of over-training or illness. When you are recovering from a workout, your metabolism and heart are working harder to repair your body and get it back to homeostasis. That's why it is good to keep track of your RHR, and Fitdigits makes it easy with tools in your smart phone and online.


Watch Your Heart Rate Recovery

One indicator of improved cardio fitness is shown in heart rate recovery. All things equal (same distance, effort level, temperature, etc), you should see your heart rate fall (recover) faster and by more beats as you improve your fitness. So if you have a favorite route, see how fast and far your heart rate recovered (using the Recovery feature in Fitdigits) when you first started working out versus where you are at the end of the cycle.


Check Your Numbers at the Lab Again

If you had a blood panel done and certain key metrics were out of the normal range, we recommend you re-test your blood after you’ve been working out for a while (3-6 months). You may see marked improvements in Cholesterol, Triglycerides (fat), and Glucose (sugar) levels. Many people who were once diabetic or pre-diabetic have found that exercise can help reverse those issues. There is very little that is as reassuring as seeing the lab results confirm that you are on the right path to a healthy, longer life.




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