What do you think fitness is?
Fitness is a broad term that means different things to different people. The standards of fitness are very subjective to each person, but in general, the word refers to your optimal health and overall well-being. It incorporates the overall well being of the body and allows one to perform daily activities, sports and movements without any hassle.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Complete Food and Nutrition says that having a fit body provides you with energy and stamina to remain productive during the day. It also ensures a healthy body that reduces health complications like heart disease and diabetes, thus, giving a better chance for a higher quality of life.
THE NEED FOR FITNESS TESTS
Understanding the definition of fitness is an important aspect of having a healthy and fit body. But along with it, it is equally important to know and recognize one’s fitness levels. Fitness levels can be understood and analysed through certain tests and screening procedures.
Why do you think we need such tests to determine an individual’s fitness levels?
Fitness tests help the fitness professional to measure and review an individual’s progress and develop a programme accordingly. Measuring an individual’s progress is an important part of personal training, whether it’s noting when an individual has succeeded in lowering their blood pressure or measuring a decrease in body fat. It helps in identifying the weaknesses and strengths of the person by comparing the test results to the average results.
It usually takes about 2 – 6 months for a fitness regime to show any outcomes, which is why conducting tests after a fixed interval of time helps to monitor the progress of the individual in terms of the baseline measured through earlier fitness tests.
Thus, such tests are essential for having a fit and healthy body.
THE VARIOUS TESTS THAT CAN BE USED
The term aerobic means “with oxygen”. So aerobic exercises provide cardiovascular conditioning. Performing aerobic exercises ensures that breathing controls the amount of oxygen that can reach the muscles to help them burn more fuel. So, the following two tests will help in recognise an individual’s aerobic strength and fitness.
- AEROBIC FITNESS – heart rate at rest
The heart rate at rest is the measure of heart health and fitness. For a healthy adult, the rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute. To measure it, all you need to do is to check your pulse on your wrist for 20 sec and then multiply the result by 4. That helps you to know your heart rate.
- AEROBIC FITNESS – running or jogging test
Another way to test your aerobic fitness is through a running or a jogging test for a 1.5 mile or 2.4 km track. The time taken to cover the 1.5-mile stretch according to the sex of the individual helps us to understand the fitness levels better.
Muscular strength and endurance are two important parts of our body’s ability to move, lift things and perform day-to-day activities. Muscular strength can be defined to be the amount of force that you can use or the amount of weight you can lift. Muscular endurance is how many times you can move that weight without getting exhausted (very tired). It helps in keeping a healthy body weight, stronger muscles and bones along with reducing the risk of injury.
- MUSCLE STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE – push up test
Push-ups can help you measure muscular strength and endurance. Lying face down on the floor with elbows bent while keeping the back straight helps in improving the strength of muscles. The more number of times one can do push-ups without taking a rest proves the better strength he has.
- MUSCLE STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE – sit up test
The sit-up test measures the strength and endurance of your abdominal muscles. The more number of sit-ups you can perform, the better muscular strength an individual possesses.
Body composition is a method of breaking down the body into its core components: fat, protein, minerals, and body water. It describes your weight more accurately and provides a better glimpse into your overall health than traditional methods. An analysis of it can accurately show changes in fat mass, muscle mass, and body fat percentage.
- BODY COMPOSITION – waist circumference
Studies have shown that having a waist circumference that is greater than your hips creates an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Measuring your waist with a simple measuring tape helps in an analysis of the waist circumference.
- BODY COMPOSITION – body mass index
Your body mass index (BMI) is a calculation that indicates whether you have a healthy amount of body fat. You can determine your BMI with a BMI table or an online calculator.
In this article, we have tried to talk about some of the commonly used fitness tests. However, it must be remembered that fitness and having a fit body is a very subjective choice and an equally subjective journey. So, it is important to work with experts and professional trainer to prevent yourself from causing harm to your body and its structure.