Achieving a certain level of physical fitness is an important part of improving health. And if you’ve been hitting the gym five times per week for months, then you must be anxious to find out how fit you’ve become.
There are five elements of physical fitness: Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Cardiovascular Endurance, Flexibility, and Body Fat Composition. If you’ve attained the right marks on these components, then you are exceptionally fit. But how do you test yourself for fitness? These tests will help you assess how physically fit you are:
1. Calculate the Body Composition
This test measures your height and waist circumference using a measuring tape to assess the body fat distribution. The waist circumference must be less than half your height. For instance, if you are six feet tall, the ideal waist circumference should be 36 inches.
Generally, apple shaped individuals carry harmful visceral fat, which is associated with an increased risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, pear-shaped individuals carry subcutaneous fat, which is less harmful than visceral fat.
To determine your waist to hip ratio. Get a tape measure and determine your waist and hip circumference. Divide the waist circumference by the hip circumference. The result is your waist to hip ratio.
2. Performing the Abdominal Plank Test
If you want to assess your core strength, find out how long you can hold an abdominal plank position. Core strength is critical for overall strength and mobility. If you have strong core strength, you’re less likely to suffer from a bad back.
To perform the classic abdominal plank, go down on all fours and into a press position. Now slowly lower yourself by bending both elbows on the floor. Shift your weight on the elbows then pull the abdominal muscles. Keep the body straight from head to heel. Hold this position for two minutes. If you are unable to maintain the position for two minutes, your core strength needs improving.
3. Performing the Sitting-Rising Test
Here’s a simple test to determine stamina: check how well you rise from a sitting position on the floor. The Sitting-Rising Test or SRT is a fitness test developed by Brazilian researchers to determine longevity. It involves a score of 0 to 5 for sitting and rising to a total of 10. If a person can sit and rise from the floor without using their hands or knees, they are physically fit.
This test is deceptively simple yet speaks volumes about a person’s flexibility, muscle strength, mobility, balance and motor coordination. All these elements are important to general fitness.
To perform the SRT, sit down on the floor. Try to get up without using any of your body parts for assistance. For every body part you use to get up, you lose one point. For example, if you try putting your hands on the floor to boost yourself up, you lose a point. If you use your hands and your knees to get up, you lose three points, bringing your score to 7.
Individuals who score a 7 have an increased risk of death within the next six years. Those who scored 0-3 are 6.5 times more likely to die than those who scored 8 or 10. Individuals who scored 3.5 to 5.5 were 3.8 times more likely to die within the next six years.