Starting a new fitness programme this month? How about measuring your fitness levels first? We all have some sort of an idea about our fitness levels. But do we really know how to measure fitness levels? Why is that important? For starters, it's a great way to keep a tab on your progress levels and set short term practical fitness goals. So if you're game to kick start a new fitness program, then size up your fitness level by taking this simple fitness test expanded across four steps.
1. Ways to check your flexibility levels by doing a Sit-and-Reach test: This exercise helps in measuring your flexibility where the back of your legs, lower back and hips are concerned. Here’s how to do it:
- Place a yardstick on the floor and mark the two ends of your yardstick at approximately 18 inch mark.
- Now position the soles of your feet in a manner which corresponds with the mark on the yardstick.
- Reach forward and place your hands on the yardstick. At least try to.
- See as far as you can go and hold this position for 2 to 5 seconds.
- Note the distance in your journal.
- Repeat this ideally for three more times and note the best of your distance in the journal.
2. Ways to check your aerobic fitness level by brisk walking: Here’s how to do it. Complete a brisk walk of around 1.6 kilometres. Walk anywhere – on the road, treadmill, shopping mall or park. Maintain your walking journal and note down your accurate pulse rate right before and after the walk.
This is how you can check your pulse level –
- Use your middle and index finger and place it on your neck, right next to your windpipe.
- For checking the pulse rate of your wrist, place two fingers right in the middle of bone and the tendon.
- Now look at the watch by checking the number of times your pulse is beating in every 10 seconds.
- Now multiply this by 6 to get your heart beat rate per minute. For instance, if you counted 35 beats in 15 seconds, your equation should look something like this: 35 X 4 = 140. This means your heart rate while walking at that intensity is 140 beats per minute.
3. Keep a record of your body composition: You must keep a record of your body composition every six months. This, essentially, calls for noting down your BMI (Body Mass Index) and waist circumference (waist size). You can measure your waist circumference by measuring the area right above your hipbones by using an inch tape. Write the centimetres or inches in your weight journal. Check your Body Mass Index by using an online BMI calculator. Record your BMI in your weight journal.
4. Ways to check your muscular fitness level by doing PUSH-UPS: Push ups are an ideal way of keeping a tab on your muscular strength. Here’s how to do it:
- Lie facing the floor and make sure your elbows are bent. Keep your palms next to the shoulder facing the floor.
- Try and lower your full body with full power till the time your chest touches the floor.
- Now push your body in an upward direction and return to the starting position. This completes one full push-up.
- Record the number of push-ups you are able to perform and write it down in your weight loss journal.
Now that you have recorded your fitness level, keep a track of it by monitoring your progress. Share your results with your dietician or family doctor and keep a tab on your progress.
*The fitness tests listed above are based on guidelines highlighted by the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (of America).
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