NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Four News 8 co-workers joining me as Kristin Gemme, a Physician Assistant from American Family Care/Doctors Express in West Hartford, takes us through a series of tests, designed to jump start a healthier lifestyle.
“It’s not a straight forward indicator that there is something wrong. It’s just a kind of self check to see where you are with your fitness and overall health level,” said Gemme.
First up, the plank for core strength.
“You want to maintain this for 30 seconds to two minutes,” said Kristin. “A weak core can sometimes lead to back injuries and back pain.”
Not easy for some of us to do.
“I’m obviously not strong enough.” said Newsroom Coordinator Jen Ruggiero. “I’m obviously not working enough on my core, so its something that has to be looked at.”
Gemme recommends crunches.
“Hands behind the head, tighten up your core and lift straight up, until you feel that pull and hold it for four seconds then come back down,” said Gemme.
Next, sit, rise, stand without using hands or knees. It’s all about strength, balance and flexibility. Two out of five of us get it done.
“I was able to, but I just lost my balance and I fell back,” said News Producer Rebecca Bainer.
Abby Garger, a Commercial/Sales Producer, almost did it. “A little bit but not really. I was having a little bit of a hard time.,” said Garger.
If you can stand up from a chair, using your abdominals and legs, Gemme says it’s still a good indicator you’re doing okay.
Add checking your heart rate to the list.
Take your pulse for ten seconds, multiply by six to determine rate per minute.
“If your resting heart beat, while you are just sitting on the couch, watching TV is consistently over 100 beats a minute,” said Gemme. “That’s a sign you should probably be seen by a medical provider to make sure nothing is going on.”
Only one of my volunteers, Marketing Photographer and Editor Tony Quinn, is a fitness star.
“I try to stay disciplined. If I have a choice between a push mower or a riding mower, I’ll use a push mower. If I need to take a staircase or an elevator, I’ll take the staircase,” said Quinn.
Another test you can do at home is the oral health test. Scrape your tongue with a spoon, seal it in a bag for a minute, then smell it.
Gemme says a sweet and fruity breath could be an indicator of diabetes. If there is no clear explanation for it, she recommends talking to your doctor about it.
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