Measuring fitness is not all about lifting weights, fast running time and tight abs. There are also other ways to test fitness. Mentioned below are some of the DIY ways to measure your present fitness levels.
Top 10 ways to assess Your Fitness
This measures the muscular endurance of the upper body. Technically, the test determines your muscular endurance and not pure strength. This is based on how many times you can do the push-ups in a fixed time rather than the amount of weight you will be able to lift. Push-ups challenge your upper arm, shoulder and your chest muscles.
Resting Heart Rate
This helps in assessing your aerobic fitness. Counting your RHR is one of the useful ways to indicate your fitness progress. RHR indicates how many times your heart beats every minute while you are resting. Low RHR means higher aerobic fitness. This is a very useful marker of fitness progress. RHR drops, as you gain fitness.
This determines your neck flexibility, which will determine how much more mobilizing and stretching exercises you must do to protect your neck from feeling tight. Often your neck feels stiff on one side. This is due to favouring of that particular side while carrying a bag, using the phone etc. In case, you find that the range of motion is greater in one direction then you need to include mobilizing and stretching exercises to widen your flexibility.
This tests your core stability (the function and strength of your trunk muscles). This is a position, which you will find difficult to hold, in case the core stability is quite poor. Practice this exercise movement to strengthen your core stability. In case, you hold the position for more than a minute, it means your core is quite strong.
12 Minute Run/Walk Test
This is a great way to assess your cardiovascular capacity. Although the test is designed for running, you can also walk. Make sure to keep up a steady pace. Use a measurable and flat route or a treadmill. Make sure to warm up for five minutes before running or walking.
This test will assess the endurance/ strength of your legs. Here, you need to maintain a posture like sitting on top of an ‘invisible chair’. Your back should be against the wall. Remain in this position, as long as possible and breathe freely. This gives you an idea about the strength of your lower body. 76 seconds for men or 46 seconds for women indicates ‘very good strength’ while 30 seconds or 20 seconds for women indicates ‘poor strength’.
Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR)
This test indicates the fat distribution in the body. WHR assesses the proportion of fact accumulated around the waist as compared to your hip girth. An apple body shape, where the person has an excess amount of fat around his/her stomach is quite detrimental to your health when compared to those with pear shape bodies (People having pear-shaped bodies have excess fat around thighs and hips). Excess fat around the abdomen is associated with diabetes and heart disease. You can determine the ratio by dividing the hip to waist measurement. For women, 0.8 is the healthy ratio while for men the ratio should be below 0.9.
This test is done to measure a person’s power exertion. Power indicates the ability to apply a force swiftly. In order to apply power, all the muscle fibres must be recruited. Hence, those with high endurance, but having less strength, are usually poor at it. This kind of power exertion gets basketball players shooting hoops and sprinters of the hindrance.
Wet Footprint Test
The test will assess your foot strike pattern while running. Words such as motion control and pronation are bandied around liberally in fitness and running circles, but how do you identify the kind of foot strike you have? Well, this test gives the basic picture of the running gait. You just need plain concrete to walk on (a cardboard sheet will also do). Dip the feet in the water. Now, walk across the cardboard or concrete surface. Do you notice the entire outline of the feet or just toes and heels? If an entire foot is seen, it means flat or low arches. This is related to over-pronation. Heel and toe prints are seen with very little in between means ‘high arches’, which is associated with under-pronation or excessive supination. Forefoot, toes and heel connected with broadband means ‘neutral’ or normal foot strike.
This determines your shoulder mobility. When you work on your comp, watch TV, drive, surf the net or simply sit with poor posture, your shoulders might tighten up. The loop-the-loop workout test determines the mobility of your shoulder in all directions.