In the spirit of the Olympics, we have decided to do something a little bit different and set our own Active Seniors “Masters” Olympic targets based on what the research indicates “normal” values should be for the various attributes of physical health.
Please be sensible about what you attempt and ensure that you do not compromise your safety when attempting these physical tests. We also recommend a light warm-up before performing the tests and as always, if you experience any sharp pain please make sure to stop.
The easiest measure of balance by far is looking at your ability to stand on the one leg without holding on to anything. Make sure you are in a safe space to do this with support nearby, and ideally have a clock with a seconds hand in front of you. Keep your hands on your hips for the entire test and ensure the leg that is in the air is not touching the other one.
If you are between 55-69 years old your target time to hold EACH leg in the air for is 22 + seconds.
If you are older than 70, your target time to hold EACH leg in the air for is 14+ seconds
- Leg strength
A reliable measure of your leg strength is how many times you can stand up and sit back down from a chair over a 30 second period of time. Make sure that the back of your chair is up against a wall or an immoveable object such as a dining table, and again try to position yourself so that you can see a clock with a seconds hand easily. Place your arms across your chest, and start from a sitting position, standing completely upright (body straight) before sitting back down and repeating. You must touch the chair with your buttocks before standing back up again.
If you are between 55-69 years old your target number of repetitions in 30 seconds is 15+ repetitions
If you are older than 70, years old your target number of repetitions in 30 seconds is 12+ repetitions
- Arm strength
An easy way you can measure your arm strength is to see how many bicep curls that you can perform in 30 seconds. You will need to stand for this test and position yourself so that you can see a wall clock with a seconds hand. You will need to find a household item that is around 2-3kg to hold while performing the test. Some examples of items that are within this category are a 2L carton of milk (full), a 2kg bag of potatoes, 1.8L laundry detergent container.
Hold the object in one hand and start with the arm fully extended by your side. Bend the elbow towards the shoulder as far as you can before returning back to the starting position and then repeating this as many times as possible in 30 seconds.
If you are between 55-69 years old your target number of repetitions in 30 seconds is 16+ repetitions
If you are older than 70, years old your target number of repetitions in 30 seconds is 13+ repetitions
- Aerobic fitness
Choose a place to perform the test that is next to the wall and where you can see a clock with a seconds hand easily. Stand next to the wall and place a small piece of sticky tape on the wall at mid thigh height. For 2 minutes, step on the spot raising your knees to at least the height of the mark on the wall each time. If you tire, try to slow down first rather than completely stopping. If you experience any chest pain or discomfort, or extreme difficulty breathing then please stop straight away to see if these symptoms resolve. Count the number of times the leg that is closest to the wall is lifted.
If you are between 55-69 years old your target number of repetitions in 2 minutes is 85+ repetitions
If you are older than 70, years old your target number of repetitions in 2 minutes is 80+ repetitions
Secure a chair against a wall and sit towards the edge of the chair (but not too far that it will tip). Straighten your legs out completely so that the heels are on the ground and the knees are fully extended. Slowly reach as far forward as you can before the knees bend.
You should be able to reach your toes or beyond.
So how did you fare?
If you reached the “target” for all 5 area you take home the Gold medal.
If you reached the “target” for 4 out of the 5 you take home a Silver medal and if you reached the “target” for 3 of the 5 then you achieved a Bronze medal.
Leave us a comment and let us know how you performed!