Testing fitness to determine your goals
When you finally decide to shore up your sagging muscles, few of you will take the time to measure, weigh or test for body strength and flexibility before you begin the renovation. It’s not easy to face up to the truth, so you seldom have a guide to work with or a goal.
From one of my research books, I have found a few simple tests to determine your present decrepit condition, and how to correct it. I’m not saying these tests are accurate, or that they are going to work for you, but heck, you never know; there might be a giggle in here somewhere.
First, let’s test your fat. Take a pinch of the stuff around your waist and on the upper arm (the part that hangs down where your triceps should be). If you can pinch more than 1inch, you may have more fat than you need.
Next, consider whether your body is in change mode. Has your chest slipped, and you now find your waist the biggest part of you? You can tell!
There is that time in life when you find it a whole lot harder to find your waist. Parts of the body seem to soak up fat faster than they did 10 years ago.
Test yourself in the water. Do you float without any air in your lungs? Float on your back and let the air out of your lungs. Time how long it takes before you sink (if you do!). After three months of exercise, try again and see if you have cut down your float time.
Lungs are next. And it isn’t easy to test lung capacity without technical testing equipment; however, you can test your lung expansion and your ability to hold your breath. Measure your chest at exhale and inhale positions, and then see how long you can hold your breath. Forty-five seconds on the hold is good, and a chest expansion of 2 to 3 inches is great.
Flexibility: Finally, an area in which women excel. Flexibility can help prevent and relieve the stiffness following a fitness workout. It helps prevent injury if you have sudden, unexpected movements.
So let’s find out just how supple you are. Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you and your feet against a yardstick. Place your heels apart at a comfortable distance. Now, slowly bend from the waist and reach for the yardstick. Place a marker on the floor where you touched. Measure the distance between the yardstick and your mark. If the mark is beyond the yardstick – 2 3Ú4 inches for a female or 2 inches for a male (between 35 and 45) – you fall in the excellent range for flexibility. Anything below the yardstick is considered in the fair to poor range. Over age 45, deduct 1Ú4 inch.
For strength testing, hook your toes under the couch, sit on a soft cushion, bend your knees, place your hands behind your head, and count your sit-ups. An “excellent” mark for ages 30 to 40 equals 35 sit-ups for men and 27 for women. The amount expected per age level goes up and down five points for every 10-year span.
How did you do? Give yourself three months of fitness somewhere, somehow and test again. You will be amazed at the advancements. If you consider yourself already fit, try the testing and see just how fit you are in all five areas.