Check Your Physical Fitness... Using the Internet?
By Robert McMillen, Koin’s Tech Guru
I think I’m in pretty good shape. I exercise every day and keep my daily calories around 2,000. But a question came up that made me think about how we can use the internet to check on our health and see where we compare to other people in our age range.
Q- “I am over 40 and female. I want to see how healthy I am compared to what the government says is “healthy”. What internet sites do you recommend for checking fitness levels?” CathyAnn B. Portland
A- That is such a great question! I decided to do this myself and report back my results. There are many different ways on the internet to see how healthy you are and how to stay that way. For instance, on the iPhone there is a free application called “Lose It”. This tells you how many calories you need to eat in order to reach your desired goal weight over a specified time. There are also a lot of websites like http://www.webmd.com/diet/ and http://weightwatchers.com to tell you how to eat healthy.
There are BMI calculators to tell you how healthy you are based on height and weight. You can check yours out at http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/english_bmi_calculator/bmi_calculator.html . I did my BMI and according to that calculator I was one point away from being obese. It seems like there’s something off here because I put in the height and weight from various athletes who publicize these facts and found them all to be obese as well. That calculator seems to be broken. Yea… that’s it.
You can also test your fitness by measuring heart rate after activity listed in this website: http://www.ekho.us/heart-rate.aspx .
But that doesn’t really answer CathyAnn’s question. She wants to see how she compares to others in her age range. I did some additional checking and found some great calculators for the Army, Air Force and Marines. The tests are found here at http://apftcalculator.com/ http://military.plainfacts.net/air_force_fitness_calculator.php and http://usmc.pftcalculator.com/ .
I then got to work doing all the sit-ups I could do in a minute. I got to 41. “Not bad”, I thought to myself. Then I did all the pushups I could do in a minute and I made it all the way to 40. I started to see stars, and not the Oscar winning kind. Lastly, it was time to do the running. That’s where I fell short, despite the fact that I run a mile and a half every day.
It showed I would almost make it into the Army and Air Force, but I would fail miserably trying to get into the Marines. But these levels show if you’re ready to fight, and not sit behind a desk. I would still be able to fight for my country, but I would just get tired after a little while. Maybe I could find a soft spot away from the fighting and take a nap. Just for a little while. They wouldn’t mind, would they?
I did really well in the area of sit-ups and pushups, but the Army wants to know your speed on a two mile run. The Air Force lets you get by with one and a half. The Marines want three miles and add pull-ups. Pull-ups? How many of those will I do when I fix servers and computers? Ok, I guess if I was going into combat I may need to pull myself up a few times, especially when I get up from those sanctioned naps.
So, let’s move away from the military and see what the American Heart Association says about how healthy I am at http://americanheart.org. For my age range, I just need to do a mile in under twelve and a half minutes in order to be in excellent shape. I can do that in my sleep. It just goes to show you that if you look long enough, you’ll find someone to say what you want to hear! The lawyers are telling me I have to say that you need to check with your doctor before you do any of this crazy testing stuff.
I recommend to all of you who have read this article to check out the various fitness sites listed here and see if you’ll live long enough to have your grandchildren borrow money from you and not pay it back.
For more great tips, check back here each week and listen to me on the All Tech Radio show at 9:00 Sunday mornings on AM 1360 KUIK and at 10:00 AM on KOL in Seattle, or listen online at http://alltechradio.com. If you would like your technical question answered here, just email email@example.com. Even if it doesn’t get answered in the column I will always answer by email.