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It’s the new 30, after all – and someone’s got to keep the Dad-Strength legends going.
No need to hop onto one those heart rate machines at Boots, if you really want to know if your fitness is up to scratch just take our quick test.
We asked the almost 40-something Joel Snape, editor-at-large at the brilliant Men’s Fitness magazine, to set some markers for good health in your fourth decade.
Jog up an escalator
Stand on one leg for ten seconds
It’s not so much a test of balance as a predictor of other, more serious issues: hip tears, say, an old five-a-side injury that never really healed properly. Try it now: if you can’t manage it, work out why. Go on, now.
Broad-jump your own height
You can do this one anywhere (just not in your ‘good’ trousers) – from a standing start, give it a quick knee-bend/arm swing and jump as far as you can, aiming to take off and land on both feet together. Bare minimum, you should be somewhere in the 5-6 foot range: if not, it’s an indicator that something’s wrong. Slot the odd set of 3-5 into your workout regime.
Carry your own bodyweight by hand (one way or another)
Do at least one pull-up
40 squats in four minutes
Try this: set a timer, and do a leisurely 5 squats – preferably getting the hip-crease of your shorts below the line of your knees every time – in 20 seconds. Rest for ten, and repeat for eight intervals. It’s your baseline of lower body strength and mobility.
Sit on the floor (and get up) with minimal difficulty
For one thing, it’s a predictor of how gracefully you’ll age – in a study of more than 2,000 people, those able to sit down and get up with minimal reliance on their hands or knees were less likely to die (of any cause) over the next six years than the less mobile. Besides, sitting on the floor is one of life’s forgotten pleasures: think ‘around a campfire’, ‘on a nice rug with someone pretty’ or – maybe – at a house party. Make a habit of it at home, and add some basic hip mobility to your weekly routine.
See the little chap (without a mirror)
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