The strong willingness and unfaltering determination to become healthier do not come around easily for everyone. There are records that show that people who found themselves unhealthy even became more passive when it comes to fitness. On the other hand, there are lucky ones who found a strong motivation to turning their lives around for the better.
One question always comes when someone wants to go into fitness, where to start? Finding the resolve to exercise at least thirty minutes a day is different from knowing what to do in those thirty minutes. Fitness and health experts agree that pre and post measurements of fitness level are both important for those who will be doing fitness activities.
Measuring an individual’s extent of being fit goes beyond what meets the eye. According to Dr. Jim Pivarnik of the American College of Sports Medicine, “Level of fitness measurement is not always dependent on how much physical activity you do”.
Certain aspects of this measurement such as cardiovascular strength, body composition, mental resolve, muscle endurance, and even flexibility are not easily measured as muscle physical strength. Being fit is a multi-dimensional development that will also require a multi-dimensional measurement of achievements, shortcomings, and current state of the individual exerting efforts to become fit and healthier.
There are two general ways of measuring fitness level- DIY (do- it- yourself) exercise and the more scientific physiological exams. Surprisingly, most ways of measuring an individual’s level of fitness also require exercise routines and aerobic activities.
Getting into a laboratory or clinic to measure your level of fitness can be costly and time-consuming. Due to this dilemma, Do- It- Yourself (DIY) ways of measuring the level of fitness are slowly becoming popular. Here are some easy to do activities that can give you a close estimate of some fitness indices:
- Resting heart rate (RHR) is an indicator of the extent that the heart is pumping blood into the body. It can be measured by simply relaxing and counting the number of heartbeats per minute. RHR is expected to become lower for individuals following an exercise regimen such as a strength program; thus, making RHR measurement before the program a good baseline of progress.
- An increase in muscle strength can only be measured from the minimum capacity set during the measuring of the level of fitness. Counting push- up repetitions, timing planking endurance, measuring the height of a vertical jump, and head-turning are some exercises that you can do to come up with a baseline of your physical capacities. A successful fitness program will be able to increase the body’s capacities to do these activities over a period of time.
On the other hand, more science-intensive measurements of fitness are best left to the experts. Waist to hip ratio, body fat index and body mass index are some examples of measurement that will require the expertise of fitness experts, doctors, and even dieticians to make sure that you are on the right path of your attempt to become healthier and fit.