October Fitness Tips
By Michelle Walker, 169th Force Support Squadron
/ Published September 26, 2014
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- 7 Tips on dealing with Physical Fitness Test anxiety
Anxiety is prevalent in our world. It occurs at home, work, social situations, playing sports and test-taking. Academic testing anxiety is very similar to physical test-taking anxiety. Those symptoms are: headaches, nausea, feeling too hot or too cold, etc. The adrenaline flows through your body prior to any of these events and can adversely affect your performance. In regards to the physical fitness test, the ways to combat anxiety are similar to those of academic test-taking anxiety. The PFT anxiety-removing techniques are as follows:
1) Be well prepared for the test
Do not start "studying" (exercising) for the PFT a week or two before the test. Fitness is a daily habit that needs to be developed 4-6 times a week.
2) Test yourself - take the PFT once a week
If it is the stopwatch that causes most of your anxiety, then train with the stopwatch when doing pushups, sit ups, running etc.
3) Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Eat more fruits and vegetables than fast foods, sleep regular hours, drink more water, and exercise 4-6 times per week.
4) PFT meals
On the evening prior to the PFT, drink water, eat more fruits and vegetables as in salad, and lean forms of protein like fish and chicken. Pasta is a pre-race favorite among runners and swimmers. On the morning of the test, eat fruits like apples, bananas, or baby carrots as a part of your breakfast. All are high on the glycemic index and provide blood sugar for immediate energy.
5) Test the way you train
Do not do something for the first time on test-taking day like eat a protein bar or energy drink. Find out what works for you during your practice tests.
Take deep breaths before the stop watch starts and think positively.
7) Treat Yourself
Give yourself a reward when you reach your training goals. Once you arrive to your test well prepared, the PFT becomes "just another workout" and the only anxiety you will get is a healthy dose of adrenaline that enables you to compete with your counterparts.