Fitness Assessment At Home
Complete Your Own Fitness Assessment At Home!To get anywhere, you need to know where you’re starting from and when it comes to weight loss that means giving yourself a basic fitness assessment.
This can be depressing for most people because the results confirm what they have been avoiding: They’re overweight, unfit, and at high risk of heart disease!
But these people a looking at it all wrong. Don’t get depressed, get focused!
This could be one of the biggest turning points in your life. You can get fitter, you can rid yourself of fat, and you can reduce your risk of heart disease. And it doesn’t take much work.
Ok. Let’s get into the Fitness Assessment. You will need a pen and some paper to write down your measurements, and a cloth measuring tape (like the ones used for sewing).
- Take shoes and socks off.
- Stand against wall with feet together.
- Pull shoulders back and look straight ahead.
- Place a book on top of your head (make sure that it touches the wall and is level).
- Measure from bottom of book to floor.
This is the one everyone hates. Too much emphasis is placed on weight and it isn’t an accurate measure of how much excess fat you carry. You can burn 10kg of fat but the scales only show you as 5kg lighter. It happens all the time. When you haven’t exercised much and you start a regular program, it can be quite easy to put on a bit of muscle. So remember, your weight is only a measure of gravity (and gravity sucks!).
You should only weigh yourself every couple of weeks. You can measure your progress more accurately with the measuring tape.
- Take shoes and socks off.
- Stand on the scales with feet evenly spaced and weight evenly distributed over both feet.
Resting Heart Rate
This is the number of times that your heart beats, per minute, when totally rested. It’s best to measure this when you first wake up.
- Sit on a chair and use the first two fingers on your left hand to feel for your pulse on your right wrist. Your palm should be turned up, and you will feel it on the right side of the wrist.
- Count how many beats you have in 60 seconds.
If your heart is healthy, it will be below 80 beats per minute. As you get fitter, your resting heart rate drops, which means that your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. Your goal should be to reach 50-60 beats.
Measure your waist, stomach, and hips. Keep the tape measure firm. This is what you will measure your improvements against.
The measuring points can be found at these locations:
- Waist: This is the smallest place between your hips and your chest
- Stomach: In line with your navel.
- Hips: This is the biggest measurement at the pelvis.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Body Mass Index basically measures your level of fatness (I know, I just made that word up!).
It’s calculated using the formula: BMI = ( Weight in Kilograms / ( Height in Meters ) x ( Height in Meters ) ).
So if your height is 1.73 meters (173cm) and your weight is 90 kilograms, you would start by multiplying 1.73 * 1.73. This equals 2.99. Next you would divide that number into your weight (90).
Therefore, the formula would look like: 90 divided by 2.99 = 30.1!
If you don’t use the metric system, use this formula: BMI = ( Weight in Pounds / ( Height in inches ) x ( Height in inches ) ) x 703
Although a small amount of excess body fat (26-27) is not likely to be very harmful to the health of most people, having a BMI above 30 (obese) significantly increases the risks of a wide range of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis, and gall bladder disease. This is especially true for people who have excess fat in the abdominal area.
This measures your risk of heart attack. It does this by assessing body fat distribution. The closer the score is to 1.00, the higher the risk of heart disease. A good score is <0.88.
It can be measured by dividing your waist measurement (cm), by your hip measurement (cm)
Cardiovascular Fitness Test
The Timed Run/Walk
This test is used to compare Resting Heart Rates, Working Heart Rates, Recovery Heart Rates, and time taken to complete the set distance. As your aerobic fitness improves there will be a reduction in each of these measures.
Important Safety Issues
- Obtain a health check from your doctor before commencing the test.
- Always warm up and stretch before commencing.
- You should not sit down immediately after finishing. Walk around and give your heart rate time to drop down to 120bpm.
Find a course that cannot be altered (so that the distance won’t be different when you re-test)
eg. -the fence at a park or oval.
-between two houses or fixed points (eg. telegraph poles)
For the best results, the test should be at least 8-15 minutes in duration. This may mean that you must walk the whole way to begin with in order to finish.
You need to measure:
- Resting Heart Rate- before warm up.
- Working Heart Rate- at regular intervals during test (eg. every km, every 2-3min, each time you pass a certain point). Ask a friend to write them down for you.
- Recovery Heart Rate- at the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd minute after finishing (measured whilst moving to cool down).
- Time taken to complete- measure with a stop watch. For better analysis, take times at regular intervals (eg. every km, each time you pass a certain point).
Push Up Test
Complete as many full push ups as possible.
- Feet together, body straight, and hands under shoulders.
- Lower down until chest is within 5cm of the floor then push up.
Complete as many full crunches in 20sec as possible.
- Lie on the floor with feet on a chair, knees bent at 90 degrees.
- Fold the arms across chest with elbows pointing forward.
- Raise the shoulders off the ground until elbows touch thighs.
- The elbows must touch the thighs and the shoulders must return to a flat position on the floor for the crunch to be counted.
Age <29 30-39 40-59
Good >17 >15 >13
OK 12-17 11-15 10-13
Poor <12 <11 <10