Saturday, 30 January 2016

How to Test Your Fitness Level

Below are some steps you can follow to determine which level you're on.
1. Run or brisk walk to test your aerobic fitness.
Run a mile or two as fast as you can. You can do it anywhere but make sure you run on a level path. A sign of top aerobic ability which is your body's capacity to transport oxygen to your working muscles is breaking the 10-minute mark. If your time is 12 minutes or above, it means you are quite slow, between 10 and 12 minutes indicates ordinary ability and 10 minutes or less indicates peak endurance.
Remember to practice running farther than your record speed to develop your aerobic capacity. Regular aerobic exercise lowers your body fat and cholesterol and thus lessens the risk of heart disease.
2. Do push-ups to test your upper body strength and muscular fitness.
When doing push-ups, lie face down on the floor with elbows bent and palms next to your shoulders. Then push up with arms until arms are extended, all the while keeping your back straight. Lower body until chest touches floor and then push it upward as you return to your starting position.
If you can do 13 to 15 push-ups at one time, your upper body strength is considered good. If your count is six or less, that means your upper body muscles need work. Remember that beginners are usually on their hands and knees while those who are more advanced are on their hands and toes.
3. Sit and reach to measure flexibility.
This is a simple method to measure the flexibility of your body, in particular your lower back, hips, and the backs of your legs. To do this, place a yardstick on the floor. Secure it with a piece of tape across the yardstick at the 15-inch or 38-centimetre mark. Place the soles of your feet even with the mark on the yardstick. Ask someone to place his or her hands on top of your knees to secure them and then reach forward as far as you can, staying in that position for two to three seconds. Repeat two more times, recording each distance you have reached.
4. Get on all fours for a balance check.
Want to check your balance? A simple method to do so is to get down on all fours and extend an opposite arm and leg without wobbling, tilting or shaking.
5. Monitor your progress.
With each fitness test, always keep track of your progress. Measure again periodically, such as every month or every few weeks. Celebrate every progress while adjusting your fitness goals. Don't be discouraged if it takes some time for you to reach your fitness goals. Remember, no pain, no gain! Just continue pushing your body and soon enough you will find yourself getting stronger and levelling up in your health and fitness goals.
Dean Piazza is a personal trainer and gym equipment expert based in Sydney, Australia.
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