Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Challenge: Tutorial


Thursday, November 28, 2013

December Challenge

Hey, guys! After getting such a positive feedback from the 200 squat challenge, I've decided to incorporate other lower body exercises to get your best legs and butt. You can add this to your regular routine or use it kick-start your 2014 resolution to a active and healthier lifestyle. Please join me to get a better you. Your biggest critic is you so challenge yourself. You can do it!




Monday, November 25, 2013

Going Bananas!



Hands-down, my favourite dessert is ice cream. There is simply no competition in this category for me. Throwing all cares out the door, I would indulge in this treat at breakfast, lunch, dinner and three snacks in between. But of course, my sense of logic and rationale wins - some of the time - and I'm able to limit my indulgence to every once in a while. Needless to say, the comfort that I get is always at the back of my mind.

Bananas have always been one of my go-to snacks during my day or as part of a healthy breakfast. I never thought of it as a dessert until a friend of mine suggested these potassium-packed fruits. She recommended using frozen bananas to make my own ice-cream. Add a little chocolate syrup and chopped nuts and you've made your own low-calorie banana split!

Recipe:

2 frozen bananas, crushed
2 tbsp chocolate syrup
1 tsp. peanut butter, crunchy

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fresh Starts


















Each new day brings the potential for a fresh start. It's something that we welcome and yearn for. It's  the desire to leave mistakes and failures at yesterday's doorstep so that we can move forward without the weight of regret and disappointment. It's no wonder why we make a catalogue of resolutions at the genesis of each new year or for some, at the start of a new month. Having a fresh can really help us to feel rejuvenated and more enthusiastic about our diet and fitness regimen. It can give us a clean slate to move forward  if we haven't been more "naughty than nice". 
I have been looking for a way to detoxify my body for some time now but I have been so turned off by complicated and downright unappealing methods that I've seen over the internet. Besides the fact that some of these ingredient can get costly and are sometimes difficult to find on the island, who really wants to drink cayenne pepper,  maple syrup or apple cider vinegar? I was a very selective eater as a child and even though I find that I've outgrown that, there are just some things that I feel should be used in its conventional methods of usage.  It wasn't too long ago when speaking with one of my co-workers who is an avid health nut (he and wife are manly vegetarians, although they allow themselves a cheat day each week), he told me about a cleanse that he does at the start of each week. He said all I needed was strictly sea salt - absolutely no iodized salt - and water. Similar in effect to an enema, this saline solution is ingested orally and subsequently cleanses the entire GI tract, eliminates gas and balance pH level throughout. And the best part of this flush? It's so uncomplicated and budget-friendly!   






Instructions:
  1. When you wake up in the morning, before eating or drinking, add 1tablespoon sea salt to 1 quart of warm or room temperature water. You can use filtered or spring water.
  2. You might want to hold your nose, like I did, while you drink the solution because salt water is never easy to swallow. But over time, I've heard that you'll acquire the taste (though it's still a work in progress for me).
  3. Drink entire solution within a few minutes for optimal results. After drinking the solution, follow it up with another quart of water within 30 minutes and stay away from food and other drink until two hours have elapsed.
  4. Now sit back and watch the flush do its thing. You'll experience bowel movements with one to two hours. after all the waste has been eliminated (when series of bowel movements have stopped), you're free to have some breakfast (finally!)


You'll be feeling very light and free. l would love to hear about your experience with the sea salt flush as well as tips and questions you may have.





Monday, October 28, 2013

My Gray Porridge







As I sat at my desk today with my bowl of breakfast, I couldn’t help but notice a few funny looks as I set my bowl down.  Why? My regular breakfast choice looked quite discoloured. It was slate gray colour with black grains throughout.

One of my co-workers finally came up to me and said, “A wha dat?”  



Blue Cornmeal Porridge with Quinoa Grains


“Blue cornmeal!” I chimed.

His confusion did not subside with my clear response. “Blue cornmeal?” he repeated.

I went on to explain to him, that, yes, blue cornmeal does exist. And, in addition to the commonly known yellow and white varieties, there is also a red variety. Its not a genetically modified food but grows naturally in parts of Mexico and the United States.  I must admit that I wasn’t surprised about the reaction in my office. Its was only last week while browsing through my nearby health food store that I came across this treasure. I followed up with some research and went back to purchase it. Below are a few fun facts about blue cornmeal:








  • Blue cornmeal is ground from whole blue corn.
  • Grown in northern Mexico and Southwestern United States, particularly in Mew Mexico and Arizona.
  • It is an essential part of Hopi (Native American) dishes as well as New Mexican cuisine.
  • It’s had a sweeter and nuttier flavour than yellow or white corn.
  • According to the New Mexico Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service, blue corn has more of the essential amino acids, which makes it a more complete source of protein than white and yellow varieties.
  • In another study featured in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture (2007), scientists found that starch in blue corn tortillas were less digestible than that founding white corn tortilla chips. The slower rate of starch digestion to glucose in blue corn samples resulted in a lower predicted glycemic index, making blue corn a healthier choice for people living with diabetes.






Blue cornmeal is just as versatile as its yellow and white counterparts. It csn be used to make cornbread, porridge, corn crusted fish and muffins. I can't wait to try this ingredient for my fried festivals, dumplings and pancakes!



Saturday, October 26, 2013

Childhood Obesity: Who's at Fault?




About two week ago, I came across the article   The 'real shape of the American man: Dudes, you're porky! (Bill Briggs, 2013). The article featured a computer-generated diagram of the shape of the average 30-39 year-old man from four different countries, including the U.S. The diagram showed, that compared to the three other countries, American men are a lot heavier or "porkier" than men from the Netherlands, Japan and France. According to one source sixty-nine percent of American men over that age of 20 years old are easier overweight or obese. This fact was further underlined by the illustration by Nickolay Lamm.  



This got me thinking about Jamaica and our current battle against the bulge. Something I find even more disturbing than obesity among adults is that which faces the younger generation and our nation's future. Kids today look so different from when I was growing. Whereas the chubby kid in class was the exception, they've now become the norm. And the numbers don't lie either.  According to the National Non Communicable Disease Committee,  11 percent of Jamaican children ages 10 to 15 years and 35 percent of teenagers ages 15 to 18 years are either overweight or obese. The future that lies ahead does not seem so promising as overweight and obesity during childhood are common indicators for obesity in adulthood. some health impacts include increased risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, strokes and several types of cancers.  

While the NCD committee strives to tackle the issue, I can't help but wonder who really is responsible  in fighting this epidemic. The Jamaican government through the NCD committee tries to get handle on the problem, I wonder if there will be any real success. As they pointed out, this is a multilateral issue.

As a society, we can't escape the role that we play. Society as a whole has a very hands-washing approach to childhood obesity. "My kids aren't fat, so it's not my problem." Whilst that may be seem correct, we all shoulder the financial cost of childhood obesity. In the US, childhood obesity alone cost $3 billion. Is that number big enough to make it our problem? Another problem is discussion about weight has become so taboo. We've come to point in society where accept me as I am is the order of the day. So who are you to criticize my weight? I'm fluffy and fabulous! But avoidance of talking about weight is not the right way to go. If parents are afraid to talk with their kids about eating habits and weight issues, how are they maintain a healthy weight? If we indulge his every craving because he's a "growing kid", how will they learn self-control? Are we okay with others, such as educators in our school system, addressing the issue if we don't want to?





Clearly, each of us has a part to play. What do you think?  

   

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bye Bye Dark Spots! DIY Turmeric & Honey Face Mask

Lately I’ve realized that I’m becoming more and more open to a more natural approach to beauty. I’ve decided to forego the chemical way to dealing with my hair as well using other natural products to care  for my hair. I’ve also become fascinated with a more natural approach to skin care. Maybe its because I’m fed up of expensive products that never seem to work or since I’m getting older, I’m searching for  a less complicated routine. Whatever the reason, I enjoy researching simple do-it-yourself recipes that claim to take care of my various skin woes. One of my biggest issues is my hyperpigmented skin and dark spots.





I found a simple recipe hat claims to help with my pigmentation as well as dark spots without bleaching the skin. It’s the turmeric and honey mask. There are many variations of this mask but since these were the only two ingredients I had at the time, I decided to give this one a try.


Recipe


1 tbsp. turmeric


1 tbsp. honey


Apply paste evenly to the skin. Let the mask sit for 30 minutes. Make sure you do this when wearing an old T-shirt since turmeric stains.




Benefits of Turmeric



  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Anti-bacterial

  • Lightens and evens out dark spots

  • Antioxidant







Benefits of Honey


  • Helps to reduce infections
  • Anti-septic, when diluted with water, it forms hydrogen peroxide which is a mild antiseptic
  • Soaks up impurities from the skin
  • Moisturizer
  • Protects skin from sun damage
  • Antioxidant













Saturday, October 12, 2013

Coconut Oil: What You Didn't Know





Food choices consist of everything that is important to people;  and culture plays a very important role in the types of foods we eat, how we prepare it and how we present it. Our choices represent who we are and where we come from which is a beautiful thing.

One of the things I love most about living in Caribbean is that coconut is one of our most beloved food. From our Sunday rice and peas to refreshing coconut water as well as, let's not forget, good ol' coconut drops. However, what's more remarkable about this fruit is how nutritious and beneficial it is to your health. Though it has gotten a bad reputation in the past, current research have shown that it's time for this "prodigal" fruit to return to our diet.    

Here are 10 healthy facts about this wonder-fruit:

1.     Coconut oil contains short term medium-chain saturated triglycerides (MCTs), which is a "healthy" form saturated fat. Unlike trans fat, which is linked to heart disease,  depression and high cholesterol levels, MCTs is immediately converted to energy by the liver instead of being stored as fat.

2.     It boosts metabolism and increases energy. Therefore it is more likely to be burned as fuel than stored as body fat. Try adding one to two teaspoon of coconut oil to your salads and you'll be on your way to losing those pounds.   

3.     Because of its MCT properties, coconut oil is ideal for cooking at high temperatures. Unlike olive oil which oxidizes and converts to free radical at high temperatures, coconut oil has a high smoking point and subsequently maintains its healthy authenticity.

4.     A component of coconut oil is lauric acid  which contains anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties to boost the immune system. At a workshop conducted by the HEAL Foundation, acclaimed celebrity nutritionist and obesity consultant Ms. Naini Setalvad says, "The next best source of monolaurin after mother's milk is coconut oil with 50% of its saturated fat being lauric acid".

5.     Coconut oil has been found to benefit digestive disorders including irritable bowel syndrome and bacterial related stomach issues. Fatty acids in coconut oil contain anti-bacterial properties, which have a soothing affect on bacteria or parasites that cause poor digestion.

6.     Due to its fatty properties, coconut oil is more satisfying than carbohydrates or simple sugars. In fact, frequent hunger is a major clue that our bodies are not being fed properly.  consuming the right amounts of fats and protein will fuel our bodies adequately so we won't feel the need to indulge in sweet treats so often. 

7.     Coconut oil can also be used as an anti-aging product. it hydrates the skin and keeps the skin's connective tissues strong. This leads to fewer lines and wrinkles.  For healthy, glowing skin, Apply just a small amount of coconut oil directly to your skin on a daily basis. Be sure you use virgin coconut oil with no additives.

8.     Coconut oil fights bacteria to blame for tooth decay.  Lead researcher Dr Damien Brady, of the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland, suggests, ‘Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations.’ 

9.     Protects against heart disease. Animal studies have shown that coconut oil in particular lowered total cholesterol, lipoproteins and phospholipids. The reason for this is that coconut oil is composed of medium chain triglycerides which are rapidly metabolized in the liver into energy and does not participate in the biosynthesis and transport of cholesterol.

10.   It tastes great with everything!






    






                                                                                                                                      

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Eating Healthy On A Budget: College Edition!






If I could get a $100 for every time a client says to me, “Eating healthy is expensive”, I’d have a profitably side business just off that. The truth is, many, especially college students,  think that in order to eat healthy, you have to beak the bank. Subsequently, many students just put their diet and health on the back burner until they ten or fifteen pounds heavier and baffled as to how they gained so much weight. With a little forethought and planning, eating healthy on a budget is possible! Here are a few tips to help you lose weight or maintain your healthy weight.   


Cook Your Own Meals
Rather than buying expensive cooked meals, cook your own at home. This will save you calories and money. All you need are a few good recipes and a shopping list. Then you can make your own delicious low-calorie and low-cost meals. According to one study, planning out your meals for the whole day really does help you lose weight. Substituting fatty meats and over processed grain for high fibre food options such beans and whole grains not only makes you feel fuller for longer but its also more affordable.

Eat More Veggies!
Eating lots of fruit and vegetables are a must when it comes to losing weight. Because they're high in water and fibre and low in calories, the fill you up without adding pounds. But they don't have to be expensive once you buy them in season. Frozen veggies can be another great option, with just as much nutrition as fresh ones.


Learn What A Portion Looks Like
Its interesting for me to listen to clients whenever I ask them to do a 24-hour recall of what they’ve eaten. What I find is that most people, whether thin or overweight, underestimate how much they eat. They’re often shocked when I show them what a real standardized portion looks like. So, instead of buying expensive pre-portioned meals, I advise clients to get themselves familiar with proper portion sizes so they can help stop overeating. Easy way to do this is by using a kitchen scale or measuring cups to measure proper servings of your favorite foods. Do this a few times until you can eyeball portions. And try making recipes that offer built-in portion control, like mini casseroles in muffin tins.

Make Your Own Low-Calorie Snack
Grab your measuring cups and measure out individual servings of your favorite healthy snacks (whole-grain crackers, nuts, popcorn) to pack up in reusable containers or small zip-lock bags. You’ll be more mindful of the portions you’re consuming as well as saving money by buying less of those small packaged snacks. One of my favourite snacks is the extremely inexpensive and super healthy homemade popcorn. Popcorn kernels don’t cost much and you can air-pop them in the microwave. All you do is add 2 tablespoons of popcorn kernels in a brown paper lunch bag, fold over several times to seal and cook it in the microwave for a couple minutes or until you hear pops become more infrequent. Three cups of popped popcorn contains 3 grams of fiber and just 105 calories—provided you don’t add butter—and it’s a whole grain!
Write It Down!
Studies show that keeping a food journal helps you not only to keep track of what you're eating but it also helps you to lose weight. Technology has made it so much easier to keep track of what you eat. There are so many free apps like 40-30-30 or Lose It! - and then there's regular pen and paper. writing down everything you eat helps you lose weight. You can use a notebook and pencil or try one of the many free food-tracking apps, like Lose It! The important is to write down everything you eat. That will compel you to become more aware of what you’re eating.




Skip the Gym
Forget shelling out a bunch of money for gym membership. Instead, search for fun activities you enjoy for free like a sport. If you’re new to exercise start out with something as simple as daily walks. As you feel yourself getting stronger, you can increase the time and speed of your walks. Other options include hiking, jogging, playing a sport like football or netball and dancing. You can also find a ton of free workout videos online such as those on PopSugar Fitness on Youtube.


Eat less
Yes, if you just eat less food you will lose weight and save money. Start by splitting your
meals in half or substituting expensive meat options for cheaper vegetarian options like
beans, lentils and eggs.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cantu Shea Butter Curling Custard Review

Product Review:

Cantu Shea Butter Curling Custard

What is it?
This curling custard can be used to define your curls while adding moisture, shine and providing enough hold to last for your second and third day hairstyles. It's made from 100 percent pure Shea butter. It contains a host of oils such as coconut, argan, olive and avocado oils just to name a few. It is also free from natural hair "faux-pas" ingredients such as sulphates, parabens, mineral oil and silicone.










The Verdict:
This product did deliver on its promise for defined and moisturized hair. I have never had this much definition on a twist out style. And even though it was defined, my hair wasn't crunchy or stiff and really soft. The product also had a good scent which is a big thing for me because who doesn't like it when your hair smells good? There is one thing I didn't like about the product though. When I did apply it to my wet hair after my leave-in, the slip wasn't all that great. I think it's because this products has more of a gel-like texture rather than a creamy texture and I usually prefer creamy textured products. Despite this minor peeve, this product did do most of it said it would. Although I'm still testing out how long my curls will stay in place. Will keep you posted!



Be sure to check my review and style tutorial below!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Black Opal True Color Foundation Review

Hi, guys!

I've been wanting to do a video review on my Black Opal True Color foundation collection. Its been a while in coming since I'm still very, very new to shooting videos and working out lighting issues and what not. Still haven't found a fix yet but at least I have my background sorted out.If you guys have any (inexpensive) advice or tips on how I can improve the quality of my videos, please feel free to leave a comment :). But let's not stray too far from the subject at hand just yet.


Many of you know that in starting my kit I decided to go with the Black Opal foundations. They're full coverage crème foundations which have been compared to MAC foundation but for a lot cheaper (yay for all the misers!!!).









***Pros***
Velvety smooth finish
Covers all my imperfections
Blends easily
Easily accessible (you can find these in almost every Chiney shop and pharmacy)
Affordable
Contains SPF 15
Easy to use, convenient packaging
Versatile, can be used for light to full coverage



***Con***
Have to use powder to set as it get's greasy even when I use a mattifier

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

2013 Summer Diet Survival Guide




Now that summer is well underway, we’re all ready to have more fun under the sun.  The great thing about summer is that everyone is more laid-back. School is out, the traffic is lighter so we can afford to sleep a little later in the mornings. This could spell disaster for our waistline since most activities during this season are centered around eating and drinking. So what’s a fit foodie to do?

Here are a few tips I’ve come up with to help you enjoy summer without busting the belt:

TGIF!!!

Here on our sweet island, we’ve become accustomed to the "woman a yaad" taking a break from the kitchen on Fridays. So Friday is usually the day we eat out. Even so, try to resist the urge to just “let go”. No matter what your weekend is like, always remember to:
  •  Eat a healthy and satisfying breakfast.
  • Always carry a healthy snack with you. Whether it’s a bag of nuts, protein or snack bar, having healthy snacks on hand makes it less likely to give into temptations.
  • Devise a strategy. Think about your healthy options well before you’re starving and almost anything looks good to eat.
  • If you’re eating out, try to cut back on how much you eat during the day since you’re more likely to eat more when dining out.
  • Be mindful of how much you drink. While some make poor diet choices after a few drinks, alcohol can help to reduce anxiety-driven eating. Always remember, alcohol can almost double calories of carbs and protein so try to cut back when drinking on weekends.
  • Give a little more during your workout sessions. Since we may be eating a little more, its only logical to sweat a little more to compensate.


Get This Party Started!

Summer and parties go hand in hand like bread and butter or chicken and chips. Many use such occasions as an excuse to forego your diet plans.  Here’s how to avoid these party tricks:

  • Never go to a party on an empty stomach. Try a high protein snack or a small meal that loaded with protein and fibre to keep those stomach growls to a minimum. If you’re thinking of having a drink or two try to add some fat to meal, say almonds, to slow alcohol absorption to the bloodstream.
  • Rather than hoping for healthy food options, why not bring some to the family get-together?
  • Before going in the buffet line, survey and see which foods are your best bet and the select few you’d like to indulge on. This way you’ll avoid just piling things on your plate.
  • Avoid going back for seconds. If your host insist and getting rid of the food, make sure to take along with you a small container to pack away seconds for taking home. Then station yourself away from the food table. Out of sight, out of mind.
  • Never forget to fill up on water. Choose water over sugary drinks such as sodas and juice. Drinking alcohol? Alternate water a glass of water between drinks.
  • Fill two thirds of your plate with the good stuff like veggies and protein and leave half for the not-so-healthy stuff like creamy Mac & Cheese. That way, you won’t feel so deprived. And avoid the regular stuff like rolls and chips that you can eat anytime.
  • Dress to kill. The more fitted your clothing is, the more you’re conscience about what you’re putting into your mouth. So avoid the baggy, loose fitting clothes, or you won’t realize just how your waistline has expanded. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Silvery Eyes & Purple Lips Makeup Tutorial




So I recently enrolled in a Professional Makeup course to brush up and fine-tune my skill as an aspiring makeup artist. here's what I came up with. Enjoy!












If you have any questions, pleas feel free to leave it in the comment section. I love hearing form you guys. If there's a makeup look you'd want to see me do, please leave your requests below. Thanks guys!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Flat Twist-Outs: Success or Fail?





Products Used:
H2O
Aunt Jackie's Curls & Coils Defining Curl Custard
Cantuu Shea Butter No Drip Hair & Scalp Oil






I wasn't too disappointed with the results except for the fact that my hair didn't dry completely which inevitably led to frizz. Its a good thing I like messy hair ;)


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Product Review


Eco-Styler Protein Gel









The wash n go’s has been my go-to style for the past few months and up until now, I have been loving it. After trying a few different gels such as World of Curls, I finally got my hands on the infamous Eco-Styler. I was looking, in particular, for the Olive Oil version but, in my desperate state (World of Curls was just not doing it for me), I bought the only one I could find which was the clear version.  This version definitely lived up to its name as it kept my curls defined for up to five days. Whereas with other gels, I’d have to do wash n go’s every two days to maintain a similar look. Needless to say, I was glad to have found a product that would save me some time in the mornings.


I was pretty much a spokeswoman for the brand to everyone I came across who inquired about my hair. That is until I ran out and the only other Eco-Styler I could get my hands on was the Protein version.  When I thought Eco-Styler could do no wrong…



After applying to my hair, my hair felt drier even though its alcohol-free. It was almost as if it had a moisture neutrailizer which nullified the softness and slip I’d have after applying my leave-in. My guess is that it’s the protein contained in the gel. I’ve read other reviews where people have given it good reviews but I personally am just not satisfied with how it makes my hair feel. What I also notice is that it leaves a grainy residue in hair, making it feel rough.  Not a good buy for me.







Sunday, May 5, 2013

So How Fit Are You?







About two weeks ago, I had gone downstairs to fix myself something to eat before I got settled down to work. I had popped a bag of popcorn and picked up a medium sized Julie mango for dinner (I prefer to eat light in the evenings to avoid the almost inevitable energy dip after eating in addition to the fact that I’m just tired). I took my meal up to my bedroom but realized I forgot my bottle of water. As I was making my second trip upstairs, I decided to run upstairs as I had usually done not more than a few months ago. Needless to say, I was a bit surprised when I found that these stairs aren’t that easy to sprint up. I know my exercise routine had been on hiatus for a while but surely walking up and down these stairs everyday must have counted for something. So it got me thinking: what does it really mean to be fit? How do you even really know how fit you are? And, how can you improve fitness?





Your level of Fitness really refers to your body’s ability to meet the demands of physical task s while still having energy and strength to feel as good as possible. This doesn’t mean you have to be an athlete but it does mean that you should be able to be and feel at your best as this lowers your risk for certain non-communicable lifestyle diseases. The basic components of fitness include the following:


·         Agility - your ability to perform a series of power movements in rapid succession in opposing directions


·         Balance - your ability to control the body's position, whether its stationary (e.g. boat pose) or while moving


·         Cardiovascular Endurance – your the heart's ability to deliver blood to working muscles and their ability to use it (think long distance running)


·         Co-ordination - your  ability to put together all components so that effective movements are achieved


·         Flexibility – your ability to achieve an extended range of motion without being impeded by excess tissue, i.e. fat or muscle (think of a leg split)


·         Local Muscle Endurance - a single muscle's ability to perform sustained work (riding a bike)


·         Power – your ability to exert the most muscular contraction immediately in a fiery burst of movements. The two components of power are strength and speed. (think of Usain Bolt in a sprint race)


·         Strength - the extent to which your muscles can exert force by contracting against resistance


·         Strength Endurance – your muscle's ability to perform a maximum contraction time after time


So now that you know what fitness is and the components that are involved, how do you know how fit you are – or if you’re even fit at all?


I’ve found a few simple tests that will help me to determine my fitness level. If you want to know just how fit you are, try them out too!



The 3-Minute Test (Measures (cardiovascular) fitness level based on how quickly your heart rate returns to usual after exercise.


What you’ll need:




What to do: Set the metronome to 96 beats per minute. Stand facing the step. When ready to begin, start the stopwatch and march up and down on the step to the metronome beat (up, up, down, down) for 3 successive minutes. (You can rest if you need to, but remain standing.) When time is up, stop immediately, sit down and count your pulse (use your wrist or neck) for one full minute.


Results:


Chicks
18-25
26-35
36-45
46-55
56-65
65+
Excellent
52-81
58-80
51-84
63-91
60-92
70-92
Good
85-93
85-92
89-96
95-101
97-103
96-101
Above Average
96-102
95-101
100-104
104-110
106-111
104-111
Average
104-110
104-110
107-112
113-118
113-118
116-121
Below Average
113-120
113-119
115-120
120-124
119-127
123-126
Poor
122-131
122-129
124-132
126-132
129-135
128-133
Very Poor
135-169
134-171
137-169
137-171
141-174
135-155




Dudes
18-25
26-35
36-45
46-55
56-65
65+
Excellent
50-76
51-76
49-76
56-82
60-77
59-81
Good
79-84
79-85
80-88
87-93
86-94
87-92
Above Average
88-93
88-94
92-88
95-101
97-100
94-102
Average
95-100
96-102
100-105
103-111
103-109
104-110
Below Average
102-107
104-110
108-113
113-119
111-117
114-118
Poor
111-119
114-121
116-124
121-126
119-128
121-126
Very Poor
124-157
126-161
130-163
131-159
131-154
130-151






The Crunch Test (Measures abdominal strength and endurance)


What you’ll need:


  •  Stopwatch
  •   Ruler


What to do: Lie on your back with your knees bent.  Your feet should be flat on the floor and your heels are about 18 inches away from your butt. Place your arms at your sides with your palms facing down. Place a ruler next to your fingertips in this position and measure 6 inches further. Put a piece of tape to mark the spot.

Throughout the test, your hands must remain on the floor. Lift your head, neck and shoulder blades off the floor, using your abdominal muscles, and allowing fingers to slide to the 6-inch marker.
  Return to the floor for one rep. Do as many as you can for 60 seconds but only counting the reps that your fingers actually reached the marker.


Results:


Dudes
< 35 years
35-44 years
> 45 years
Excellent
60
50
40
Good
45
40
25
Marginal
30
25
15
Needs Work
15
10
5




Chicks
< 35 years
35-44 years
> 45 years
Excellent
50
40
30
Good
40
25
15
Marginal
25
15
10
Needs Work
10
6
4








The Push-Up Test (Measures Muscular strength and endurance)


What you’ll need:


  •  Stopwatch
  •  Friend


What to do: Dudes can assume a traditional push-up position and chicks can use the modified version (where you’re on your knees). Push yourself up with arms fully extended and then lower yourself until your chest is about three inches from the floor. Do as many as you can in one minute.


Results:


Dudes
20-29
30-39
40-49
50-59
60+
Excellent
> 54
> 44
> 39
> 34
> 29
Good
45-54
35-44
30-39
25-34
20-29
Average
35-44
24-34
20-29
15-24
10-19
Poor
20-34
15-24
12-19
8-14
5-9
Very Poor
< 20
< 15
< 12
< 8
< 5




Chicks
20-29
30-39
40-49
50-59
60+
Excellent
>48
>39
>34
>29
>19
Good
34-48
25-39
20-34
15-29
5-19
Average
17-33
12-24
8-19
6-14
3-4
Poor
6-16
4-11
3-7
2-5
1-2
Very Poor
< 6
< 4
< 3
< 2
< 1




My Results:


For the step-up test, I came in at disappointing “below average”. I guess my cardio fitness has plenty room for improvement. Fortunately for me, the others tests were a bit more heartening. I completed 35 reps which put me somewhere between “marginal” and “good” and considering I’m not a gal for crunches (Hey, there are way more fun and interesting ways to engage my abs than the standard crunch exercise), I think I did pretty well. And, last but not least, I completed 27 reps for the push-up test which puts me at “average”.


            I’m not too thrilled about my overall results because I know I can be much stronger if I only push myself a little more. Now I know where to focus on in order to improve my overall fitness.


Let me know just how fit you are by leaving a comment.


Until next time, keep it tight.