Posted on Thursday 26th of April 2018 at 10:31 AM
You don't have to be body builder to be in good shape.
You're working out, trying to eat healthily, and get enough sleep, yet it feels like nothing is working. Looking in the mirror doesn't help, nor does stepping on the scale, which leaves you wondering: "Am I really in shape?"
Just because it feels like you're not in shape, doesn't mean you're slacking on your health. There are all sorts of ways to measure your fitness and health levels that have nothing to do with how your muscles look or how your pants feel. Here are 10 signs you're in shape even if you think you aren't.
Your heart rate is where it should be
"People who are in great physical shape, have a lower heart rate," Bodybuilding.comTEAM Athlete Nikki Walter, told INSIDER. Their heart pumps more efficiently and harder (strong beats). Check it in the morning for the most accurate reading. A normal heart rate is from 60-100 beats per minute (bpm). A number higher than this may indicate high blood pressure, heart disease or other concerns.
You can keep up with your friends on a walk or jog
Can you keep up with your peers? Walk or jog at a moderate pace, hiking, climb stairs. If you're breathing heavily you may be out of shape. However, if your breathing feels in control and you're able to keep up with your fit friends, you might be in better shape than you think.
Your recovery time rocks
Walter recommends paying attention to your recovery time. "If your heart rate is in the healthy zone in less than five minutes you're in good shape." The faster back to normal, the better in shape you are in. She recommends you take your pulse right after you're done working out and then every minute after to see how quickly it goes down.
You exercise consistently
Even if you're not hitting it hard every day, getting enough exercise each week does make a difference. If you're getting at least 150 minutes per week of exercise and two days of strength training in, you're probably on your way to being fit. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days per week (150 minutes total) or you can kick it up a notch and do a higher-intensity workout for at least 25 minutes three times per week (75 minutes).
The physical aspects of parenting are a cinch
Crawling around on the floor, pushing a stroller, and carrying a kid on your hip are daily occurrences for many parents. If you're carrying around a 20 pounder with little to no problem, there's a good chance you're in better shape than you think.
Stairs don't scare you
When given the choice between taking the elevator or climbing a flight of stairs, which one do you choose? If you said stairs, you're probably more fit than you realize. In fact, people who use the stairs regularly are generally more fit than those who don't.
You can do a variety of workouts
If your weekly workouts are sprinkled with a variety of activities, your body is benefiting from the variety and challenge that comes with training different muscles. Strength training, yoga, running, kettle-bell workouts, the list goes on and on. If you can easily alternate between different types of exercises, you're probably in better shape than you think.
You feel rested
Has your sleep improved? How about your energy level through the day? If you're catching more z's at night and powering through the day, you're probably in better shape than you think you are. People who exercise generally sleep better. Even if you're not seeing results on the scale, you might be getting better sleep, and that's good news when it comes to the state of your health.
Your mental health is in good shape
The connection between working out and mental health is clear: Exercise has been shown to improve mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal.
This acticle first appeared on Insider. Click here to read the original article.