If you’re going to walk, then you need an evaluation that will take activity and walking into consideration too. It provides an assessment more specific to walking. It takes a look at your health history and your fitness background and level. In each of the 10 areas, choose the number that best describes you, then total the scores. The result tells you whether your baseline level is high, average, or low.
1. Cardiovascular Health
Which of these statements best describes your cardiovascular condition?
This is a critical safety check before you enter vigorous activity.
Warning: If you have a cardiovascular disease history, start the walking programs only after receiving clearance from your doctor, and then only with close supervision by a fitness instructor.
- No history of heart or circulatory problems _____ (3)
- Past ailments treated successfully _____ (2)
- Such problems exist, but no treatment is required _____ (1)
- Under medical care for cardiovascular illness _____ (0)
Which of these statements best describes your current injuries? This is a test of your musculoskeletal readiness to start a walking program.
Warning: If your injury is temporary, wait until it has healed before starting the program. If it is chronic, adjust the program to fit your limitations.
- No current injury problems _____ (3)
- Some pain in activity, but not limited by it _____ (2)
- Level of activity limited by the injury _____(1)
- Unable to do much strenuous training _____ (0)
Which of these statements best describes your current illness? Certain temporary or chronic conditions will delay or disrupt your walking program.
- No current illness problems _____ (3)
- Some problem in activity, but not limited by it _____ (2)
- Level of activity limited by the illness _____ (1)
- Unable to do much strenuous training _____ (0)
In which of these age groups do you fall? Generally, the younger you are, the less time you have spent slipping out of shape.
- Age 20 or younger _____ (3)
- Age 21 to 29 _____ (2)
- Age 30 to 39 _____ (1)
- Age 40 and older _____ (0)
Which of these ranges best describes how close you are to your own definition of ideal weight? Excess fat, which can be layered on thin people too, is a sign of unhealthy inactivity. Of course, being underweight isn’t ideal either. Be honest.
- Within 3 pounds of your own ideal weight _____ (3)
- Less than 10 pounds above or below your ideal weight _____ (2)
- 11 to 19 pounds above or below your ideal weight _____ (1)
- 20 or more pounds above or below your ideal weight _____ (0)
6. Resting Pulse Rate
Which of these ranges describes your current resting pulse rate, your pulse upon waking in the morning before getting out of bed? T he heart of a fit person normally beats more slowly and efficiently than an unfit heart.
- Below 60 beats per minute _____ (3)
- 61 to 69 beats per minute _____ (2)
- 70 to 79 beats per minute _____ (1)
- 80 or more beats per minute _____ (0)
Which of these statements describes your smoking history and current habits? Smoking is the major demon behind ill health that can be
- Never a smoker _____ (3)
- Once a smoker, but quit _____ (2)
- An occasional, social smoker now _____ (1)
- A regular, heavy smoker now _____ (0)
8. Most Recent Walk
Which of these statements best describes your walking within the last month? Your recent participation in a specific activity best predicts how you will do in the future.
- Walked nonstop for more than 1 brisk mile _____ (3)
- Walked nonstop for 1/2 mile to 1 mile _____ (2)
- Walked less than 1/2 mile and took rests _____ (1)
- No recent walking of any distance _____ (0)
9. Walking Background
Which of these statements best describes your walking history? Although fitness doesn’t stick if you don’t keep at it, if you once participated in an activity, you’ll pick it up again more quickly.
- Walked regularly within the last year _____ (3)
- Walked regularly one to two years ago _____ (2)
- Walked regularly more than two years ago _____ (1)
- Never walked regularly _____ (0)
10. Related Activities
Which of these statements best describes your participation in other aerobic activities? Continuous activities such as running, cross-country skiing, and bicycling help build a good foundation for other similar activities, such as walking. Nonaerobic activities, such as weightlifting and stop-and-go sports like tennis, don’t contribute as much to the base conditioning needed.
- Regularly practice continuous aerobic activity _____ (3)
- Sometimes practice continuous aerobic activity _____ (2)
- Practice nonaerobic or stop-and-go sports _____ (1)
- Not regularly active _____ (0)
Total score _____
11.Evaluate Your Score
- ≥ 20 points. You’re high in overall health and fitness for a beginning walker. You could probably already handle 3- to -mile walks at a steady clip, four or five days a week.
- 10-19 points. Your rating is average, which is a fine place to be. You could start by walking fewer days, perhaps no more than three a week, and could cover a maximum of to 3 miles each time.
- < 10 points. Your score is low. You probably should start walking very short distances, for example, around the block a few times. Feel free to take plenty of breaks, building to 11⁄ to miles of easy walking that you can comfort- ably complete before you try a more challenging program.