How Do You Measure Up? Simple Fitness Tests

by Barry Hill

Simple Fitness Tests

If we were to ask you how fit you are, chances are you’d say something like “Not very” or “More than I used to be.” However, having specific numbers to compare your progress to can be a huge motivator to keep moving. And, if you’re just getting started, performing a few simple fitness tests can be a real eye-opener, helping you commit to regular exercise. Fortunately, you probably already have everything on hand to perform basic fitness tests.

Fitness tests vary, depending on your goals. Performance-related tests apply to athletic performance, and measure speed, coordination and reaction time.

But, what if you’re not interested in being an athlete? Focus on health-related fitness tests that measure four key components:

  • Aerobic Fitness – how well your heart and lungs deliver blood and oxygen to your muscles.
  • Muscular Strength – your strength and endurance while performing daily tasks.
  • Flexibility – the range of motion achieved by your many joints.
  • Body Composition – the amount of body fat.

The President’s Challenge Adult Fitness Test is easy to do, doesn’t require special tools, and tests all four health-related fitness components. Having a partner can make testing go more smoothly:

The President’s Challenge Adult Fitness Test

The Mayo Clinic has condensed the tests into a handy printout and includes a link to easy instructions to the right of each of the 4 tests:

Mayo Clinic Printable Fitness Test

Here’s a handy BMI (body mass index) calculator to help you complete the tests. Follow through the steps to learn more about how to reach your goals:

BMI Calculator

Before engaging in any fitness testing, it’s important to ensure that it’s safe for you to take the tests. Here’s a questionnaire to guide you:

Fitness Risk Questionnaire

Once you’ve performed these fitness tests, monitor your progress by retesting at regular intervals. Perform the same tests and note the results every 6 weeks – and don’t forget to celebrate your progress with Fit After Fifty!


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