How Fit Are You?

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TESTING your overall fitness level is easy and can be done without using any special equipment or machine. The following are some assessments you could do to know where you are now and how far you could go.

Check your weight 
Keeping your food intake and energy output in balance is the key to controlling weight. This means that weight loss is affected not just by what you eat but by the physical activity you are engaged in.

There is a standard height and weight chart for men and women to determine your healthy weight range.

Get your target heart rate 
By calculating your target heart rate, you would know how much effort you need to exert for your workout. Target Heart Rate (THR) is the heart rate you should maintain when you exercise. It is more accurate to get it during an aerobic activity.

Before calculating it, you need to determine your Resting Heart Rate (RHR). This can be taken manually at your wrist or neck.

When training, aim to keep your heart rate above 142 but below 170.75. If you train above your optimum zone, your body won’t be able to keep up with the demand for oxygen and you will be exhausted quickly. A workout that does not raise the heart rate to a certain level will not contribute significantly to a cardiovascular fitness.

Know your BMI
Body mass index (BMI) is a height-weight system of measurement that is applicable to all gender. It is a number that reflects the percentage of body fat in proportion to lean body mass. It determines if you are underweight or overweight.

Test your aerobic fitness
Aerobic fitness refers to endurance or the ability to sustain walking, running, swimming, or climbing uphill for prolonged periods. It is dependent on age and sex, and can be improved by training. It is highest at ages 18 to 19 years in males, and 15 to 20 years in females. It also decreases with age.

Determine your muscular fitness
Push-ups can help measure muscular strength. Do as many push-ups as you can until you need to take a rest. Count each time you return to the starting position as one push up.

Record the number of push-ups. The number is an indicator of your upper body and shoulder endurance and muscular strength. A low number would mean poor muscular strength and may lead to shoulder pain.

A good muscular fitness level allows an individual to perform tasks with less physiological stress and make everyday activities easier to do.

Check your flexibility 
Flexibility is the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion. It is affected by the condition of the joint and the muscles and connective tissues surrounding the joint. It is essential not only for sports engagement but also for daily activities. Persons who are not flexible are prone to injuries.

To check your flexibility, put a yardstick on the floor, and secure it by putting a tape at the fifteen inch mark. Place the soles of your feet even with the mark. Using you arms, reach towards your toes as far as you can, without bending your knees. The test gives you the idea of how flexible you are. –Jinoe Gavan for Unilab Active Health

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