One’s height, weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol are checked regularly during a routine medical exam. But so should one’s cardiorespiratory fitness, notes an exercise physician in a media release.

“This measurement is so important because it shows how the heart, lungs and muscles all work together, and it should be an element of assessment of heart disease risk along with factors like smoking history, diabetes, and [high blood pressure],” says Dr Benjamin Levine, who was part of an American Heart Association group that recently issued a scientific statement calling for this assessment during a patient checkup.

“Decades of tests have clearly demonstrated that the ability to do aerobic exercise is strongly correlated with heart health,” adds Levine, a professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and director of the Institute of Exercise and Environmental Medicine, which is run by UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources, according to a media release.

Cardiorespiratory fitness is usually measured on a treadmill or a bike. Another way to do it is to time a person as he or she walks or runs 2 miles, Levine states in the release. Patients can also get a rough sense of their fitness through online calculators

[Source(s): UT Southwestern Medical Center, HealthDay]