KNOW YOUR FITNESS LEVEL BEFORE STARTING ON AN IMPROVEMENT PLAN (Updated 6/19/2018). Summertime is the season in which many like to spend extra time outdoors getting exercise. Perhaps you are thinking of starting one of the Earned Runs Summer Challenges on July 1. It can help to know your base level of fitness before beginning an extra effort to boost it. Re-testing at summer's end can increase self-confidence when you see gains made!
The article, “4 Exercise Tests to Gauge Your Fitness” written by Tony Bonvechio for Under Armor’s MyFitnessPal.com, is one such test. Each exercise evaluates a different aspect of overall fitness, and only one requires special equipment:
Another test that may be a tougher assessment, especially for women (it’s designed for women) is provided in “How Fit Are You Really? Take These 4 Simple Tests to Find Out” by F. Aleisha Fetters for WomensHealthMag.com. It requires a gym with specific equipment:
These two are not the only tests out there for this purpose; there are many. Both attempt to instruct readers in test performance and interpretation, and how to improve in the area being assessed.
I see these kinds of tests as being similar to those that measure general knowledge of science, current events, movies, or mathematics, etc. “Passing” does not mean you are a genius or could hold a job in a field that demands competence in that particular area. Good fitness test results do not identify elite athletes. But performing poorly can point to areas of significant weakness that require extra work over time, not likely to be corrected by a single exercise or weekend of concentrated effort.
The Fetters tests are nicely explained and are more difficult in my opinion. The suggestions for boosting your score are very helpful.
The bar is set fairly low for the Bonvechio test result interpretations. If you struggled with the moves, consider joining a fitness center that includes an evaluation by a certified trainer and an exercise prescription. This is the easiest although not the least expensive path to improvement. Once you have been instructed in proper form and execution of the exercises in your program, you can do them at home on your own. Further research online can identify additional exercise routines. A big part of the process of becoming fit is becoming educated.
It only takes about 2-3 weeks of inactivity, or de-training, to begin to lose aerobic fitness (see February 6, 2017 blog post); attaining and maintaining fitness is a continuous lifelong effort. Just as we might regularly step on the scale to measure body weight in an effort to control unintended gains or losses, it can help to measure fitness periodically. The results might be better than expected!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
February 6, 2017 post: WHY NOT TO STOP TRAINING
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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