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 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:
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:
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:
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!