Fitness Benchmarks

Do you have fitness benchmarks?  You know, things you want to be able to do physically (that are achievable.  Disabilities exist and are real) that do require a bit of work to maintain.

I thought about this today as I was getting some hot water for my coffee.  The water cooler/heater’s bottle was pretty much empty and needed to be switched out for a full one.

We get our water bottles in five gallon containers, so you’re looking at about forty pounds that needs to be picked up off the floor and manipulated with some reasonable level of delicacy to get the opening on the nozzle correctly and not spill or break anything.

Heavy?  Not particularly.  I can recall when I weighed about that, and my mother and father picked me up at that age with some regularity.

But over the past year, I haven’t been doing much physical, so while I could do it, and did (I think walking by an empty cooler if you are physically capable of switching it out without injuring yourself is kind of inconsiderate) it was definitely getting harder.

You wanna know if swimming puts on muscle? One month into getting back into swimming and it was enough easier to startle me.

Which brings me to the point.

What are your fitness benchmarks?  What are your indications that you might need to be a bit more focused on getting enough exercise?  I’m not talking about the scale here, or how your pants fit.  Those are fine goals if that’s what you’re into, but they’re a bit on the cosmetic side.  I’m talking the functional and physical benchmarks.   These are pretty individual.

For me, being able to manipulate forty pounds up through four feet of space with ease is definitely one.  Another is perceived exertion going up the hill to my house.  Can I lift a full suitcase easily from the floor of a train to the luggage rack without Red Cap assistance?  Is two miles a pleasant walk or something that makes me want a nap?  If I fall below any of those pretty modest abilities, I feel like I need to do something about it.

What are yours?

2 Replies to “Fitness Benchmarks”

  1. My fitness goals have changed as I have aged. I want to always be able to take care of all my gardens that I have created during the 41 years of living in this home. I want to be able to continue to keep our home in order and to the level of neatness that is important to me. Things have gotten harder for me in this realm and it is a eye opener. Walking every day has helped me to be at the level I enjoy now, but with issues with arthritis even that is difficult some days. Hopefully I will deal with the ups and downs of aging and continue to exercise. ♥

  2. I want to maintain enough physical/cardio stamina so that I can travel/tour/explore for a full day without feeling exhausted.
    I want more upper body strength so I can maneuver my (80ish lb) kayak onto the roof of my SUV.
    I confess that my actual motivators are often the non-physical benchmarks – I need a certain amount of physical activity to avoid depression and I am annoyed when my pants fit too tight.

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