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Personal Fitness Assessment: How Fit Are You?

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Personal Fitness Assessment: How Fit Are You?

If you are thinking of starting a regular fitness plan, a personal fitness assessment should be at the top of your agenda. Assessing your fitness level before you start a regular exercise plan can help you set realistic goals, evaluate and monitor your progress, and keep your motivation levels up. How can you effectively determine your physical fitness level? It is actually quite simple and straightforward. According to experts at Mayo Clinic, all you need to do is follow the personal fitness assessment guidelines determined by the President’s Challenge Program (Designed by the President’s Council to promote fitness, nutrition and sports). The personal fitness level guidelines are comprehensive, easy and can easily be followed in the comfort of your home.

Personal Fitness Assessment- Step # 1

Your fitness level test will focus on four main areas: muscular fitness, aerobic fitness, body composition and flexibility. There are certain objects and tools that you will require to conduct your personal fitness assessment, which include the following:

  1.  A pen and paper to record your fitness level results. You can use alternate forms of score keeping such as electronic mediums as well.
  2. A cloth measuring tape.
  3. A stopwatch or a watch that can measure seconds.
  4. Heavy-duty tape
  5. A yardstick
  6. An additional person who can help you with the flexibility test.

Personal Fitness Assessment- Step # 2

The second step is to measure your aerobic fitness level. Follow the guidelines mentioned below to complete this part of your personal fitness assessment.

  1. Check and record your pulse. You can check your pulse by placing your middle finger and index fingers on your neck to the side of your windpipe (carotid artery). Once you have detected your pulse, use your watch to count the number of beats in a ten second time period. To measure your heart rate, multiply the number of beats counted by 6.
  2. Take note of the time and walk for a distance of 1.6 km (1 mile). Maintain a brisk pace.
  3. After you have completed the 1 mile walk, note the time taken to complete the walk and record your pulse.  

Personal Fitness Assessment- Step # 3

The third step involves measuring your muscular fitness level. Follow the guidelines mentioned below to complete this part of your personal fitness assessment.

  1. This part of the personal fitness assessment involves push-ups.
  2. Position yourself lying face down on the floor or exercise mat.
  3. Keep your elbows bent, place your palms next to your shoulders and keep your back straight.
  4. Use your arms to raise yourself up until your arms are completely straightened out.
  5. Then bring your body down towards the floor until your chest touches the floor or exercise mat.
  6. After completing this sequence, raise your body upwards and resume the original position. This counts as one push-up.
  7. Continue performing push-ups until you have to pause to rest.
  8. Record the number of push-ups that you managed to complete.

 Personal Fitness Assessment- Step # 4

The fourth step involves a flexibility fitness level test. Follow the guidelines mentioned below to complete this part of your personal fitness assessment.

  1. This part of the personal fitness assessment involves a sit-and-reach test.
  2. Position the yardstick on the floor and use heavy duty tape to secure it to the floor at the 15 inch mark.
  3. Position the soles of the feet in such a way that they are equal to the 15 inch mark.
  4. Ask someone to hold your knees in place by positioning his or her hands over them.
  5. Then reach forward as much as you can.
  6. Hold the position for 2 seconds.
  7. Take note of the distance that you covered.
  8. Repeat the sit-and-reach test thrice in total.
  9. Take note of your best score from the three attempts.  

Personal Fitness Assessment- Step # 5

The fifth step requires a measurement of your waist circumference and body mass index (BMI). Follow the guidelines mentioned below to complete this part of your personal fitness assessment.

  1. Circle the cloth measuring tape just above the hipbones. Take note of your waist circumference.
  2. Use an online calculator or BMI table to determine your BMI.
  3. You can also determine your BMI by calculating it yourself! Simply divide your weight (in pounds) with your height in inches squared. Multiply the result by 703. Take note of your BMI.

Personal Fitness Assessment- Step # 6

You are now ready to start a regular fitness program! Re-evaluate your personal fitness level after regular intervals of time (6 weeks). The changes in your scores will help you ascertain whether your fitness goals need to be modified!

References
Mayo clinic- how fit are you? See how you measure up.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fitness/SM00086/NSECTIONGROUP=2
everyday health- measuring your personal fitness level
http://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/measuring-personal-fitness-level.aspx

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