Things to consider before you start a new fitness plan

(CNN) – Physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Exercise can help you lose weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease, improve sleep, balance, coordination, even boost your self-esteem, but before you start a new workout routine, you need to know how fit you actually are.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that you begin with the following simple fitness tests, measure how far forward you can reach while seated on the floor with your legs in front of you.

Note how many half-sit-ups, standard push-ups or modified push-ups you can do in one session.

Track how long it takes to walk one mile or, if you are a little stronger, how long it takes to run one and a half miles and don’t forget to write down your heart rate before and after.

Measure the circumference of your waist just above your hipbones and determine your body mass index, or BMI.

Your BMI is a measure of the fat in your body you can find calculators online to help you figure out what it is.

Write down your results and keep track of them, they’re your baseline fitness scores.

They’ll help you decide how to start your initial exercise program and give you benchmarks to measure your progress.