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Brett Sears

Start the Year Out Right

By December 31, 2012

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The new year is upon us, and it is a time when people make resolutions. Many people take time to reflect on the past year and resolve to change one or two small things to live a better, more fulfilling life.

One popular New Year's resolution that many people make is to exercise more. But how do you start and exercise program? And, more importantly, how do you keep active throughout the entire year, making regular physical exercise an everyday part of your life.

Before starting an exercise program, you should have an idea of your overall functional endurance. Sounds complicated, but there are easy ways to get a baseline measurement of your fitness level. One such way is by performing the Six Minute Walk Test.

The Six Minute Walk Test is a simple test to perform that can give you an idea of your general endurance level. To do the test, start walking and walk for six minutes. Determine the distance that you can walk in six minutes, and this is your score. Easy peasy. Now, if you use an assistive device, like a walker or a cane, you may use it during the Six Minute Walk Test. Also, if you need to rest during the test, that's fine too.

The Six Minute Walk Test is a simple way to measure your baseline functional endurance. Hopefully this can get you motivated to start and stick with an exercise program in the new year. Of course, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you need more advice about starting a fitness program, your local physical therapist can be a great resource, so check there first.

Happy New Year, and thanks for reading!

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