How fit are you, really?
There is no one universal way of measuring someone’s fitness level. Nonetheless, many of us are interested to know how fit we are, or how much we are benefiting from our workouts.
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Fitness tests can assess cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, body composition, muscular strength and muscular endurance. Any legitimate fitness test has to encapsulate all these areas of fitness to make a well-rounded evaluation. Before you officially declare yourself fit, try out these easy-to-do tests and get a real gauge on different aspects of your fitness level.
For a good measurement of cardio or aerobic endurance, see how quickly you can walk one mile.
What You’ll Need
The only equipment needed is a comfortable pair of running shoes and a stopwatch with a second-hand. (You can probably use your smart phone to time yourself.) To keep the test results as accurate as possible, walk on a track or stretch of road that’s level. A slope would make things more challenging and have a noticeable effect on your time.
The Test: To execute the test, start your watch and run as quickly as possible toward the finish. The aim is to complete the mile in the shortest time possible. According to an American Council on Exercise study, an excellent score on this test for a 20 to 29 year old man is a time less than 11 minutes 54 seconds, and for a 30 to 39 year old man, it would be anything below 12 minutes 24 seconds. For a 20 to 29 year old woman, an excellent score would be less than 13 minutes 12 seconds, and for a 30 to 39 year old woman, it would be anything below 13 minutes 42 seconds.
Muscular Strength And Endurance
The push-up test can measure the strength in your chest, triceps, shoulder and back muscles.
What You’ll Need
Basic equipment needed for this test are a stopwatch or timer, and for accuracy, someone to time you.
The Test: Start the timer and do as many push-ups as quickly as you can in one minute, staying in the traditional push-up position. On the downward movement, be sure to not touch the ground with your chest; let it remain about two inches off the ground before pushing yourself up again. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), to get an excellent score, a 20 to 29 year old male should be able to do over 54 pushups in a minute; a 30 to 39 year old should be able to do above 44; and a 40 to 49 year old male should do above 39 pushups.
Flexibility is a part of physical fitness that’s relatively unheralded. The truth is, being flexible is one of the secrets to keeping in top shape, especially as you age. Research has shown that the average person loses about 25 per cent of their flexibility between the ages of 35 and 50.
What You’ll Need
A yoga mat, a yardstick and some measuring tape.
The Test: Place the yardstick on the floor vertically in front of you and lay the masking tape across the 15-inch mark. Sit on the yoga mat with both legs on either side of the yardstick. Place one hand on top of the other and reach out as far as possible along the yardstick while only bending at your hips. Whatever number your finger touches is your score. The farther you can reach, the better your flexibility.