Hi Miz. Ive been reading for a while and had a question for you that I don’t think you’ve answered.
I think I’m average when it comes to my cardio fitness. Or that’s what Id say I am.
And then I think that if I’m even working out maybe I’m better than average (yay!!). How on earth would I even tell this? Thanks!!
My first reaction to this email was *precisely* the emailer’s own reaction:
In today’s world (where 75% of U.S. adults are projected to be overweight & 41% obese by 2015) what is average anymore anyway?
I was at the grocery store recently & overheard a conversation between two people which went, essentially, like this:
One person asked another to describe a woman she wasn’t sure if she’d met before or not.
The first woman described the friend as ‘average,’ paused thought for a moment, and then further clarified by saying: WELL, SHE’S AMERICAN AVERAGE.
A phrase which I (and obviously the other woman as I watched her nod in understanding) took to mean a ‘just a little overweight.’
Sad—but that’s a post for a different day.
The short version of your answer, emailer?
Take a cardiovascular test such as this one.It’s fairly simple to do at home and the norms are listed on that page as well.
More intriguing to me is what my doctor boyfriend (known to others as Dr. Mehmet Oz) has to say on the subject.
Dr.Oz’s suggestion for an easy way to determine whether you are in ‘fine’ or average shape is to run up two flights of stairs or walk six blocks.
(seriously. go ahead. we’ll wait.)
Did you experience extreme shortness of breath? were you compelled to stop? You’re below average. Your heart and lungs need some work.
Simple. Easy. Blunt. And that’s why we love the Mehmet.
He also clarifies that, while this test is important, it’s almost MORE important to note a sudden change in this/spontaneous drop in your fitness level. A change for no discernible reason could indicate a health issue.
So there’s the answer: an at home test with norms (there are many others as well) & the Mehmet quick & dirty pass/fail type exam.
Now my question:
Have we kind of given up, America?
Non-Americans: do you see us as the Great Surrendering to SuperSizing nation?
Have we gone so far into the notion of perfect not being important & it’s ok to be less than our best & we need to love ourselves regardless that we’ve swung too far into deconditioned is the new black! territory?
Im not sure.
I guess if by ‘average’ we truly mean plain ole sufficient or lacking in distinction then perhaps we havent.
As the ability to walk six blocks without experiencing extreme shortness of breath is precisely that.
Are you of the opinion that we’ve lowered the bar of acceptable so far that it’s resting on the couch next to us as we snack & watch women argue about inane things?
Whatever your thoughts—please to hit us all up in the comments.