February is a great time to check in on how the fitness goals you set for yourself this year are coming along. A great way to gauge your progress is to conduct a personal fitness assessment! Putting yourself through a fitness assessment will help you identify your current fitness level and serve as a baseline of where your starting point is. This baseline will be important to help you determine if your workout routine is helping you reach your goals or not when you reassess. A fitness assessment can also help you identify areas of strengths and weaknesses and help you set better goals moving forward. Here are a few examples of simple fitness assessments you can do all on your own:
This is a great test to measure your aerobic fitness. Time yourself running one-mile and record how long it takes you to finish. You can do this outside or inside using a treadmill. If you use a treadmill, I recommend setting the incline to 1.0 to mimic the added stress you would experience while running outside. If running is not conducive, try a bike test and time yourself biking for 3-miles. If you use an indoor bike, record your effort levels so when you reassess you have that information.
Hand-Release Pushup Test
This test will measure your upper body endurance. Start the pushup at the bottom, place your feet together and place your hands in line with your shoulders but slightly wider. Keep your glutes tight the entire time and elbows tucked. Push yourself up and lower yourself all the way back to the floor and lift your hands and arms from the ground at the bottom of every pushup. Do as many hand-release pushups as possible in 2-minutes and record the number. Note: do not drop to your knees; only count the pushups you do on your toes.
This test will measure your lower body muscular strength and endurance. All you need is a flat wall and a stopwatch. Keep your back flush up against the wall, head held up high, lower your hips until they are level with your knees. Make sure your ankles are aligned with your knees and legs are hip distance apart. Note: keep your hands off the thighs and don’t shrug your shoulders. Record how long you can hold the proper position of a wall sit.
This will test your core muscle strength. Place your elbows directly under your shoulders, squeeze your glutes and keep your body in a straight line from head to heels. Hold as long as you can without breaking form and record your time. Once you break form or fall to your knees stop the stopwatch.
Once you have a baseline for all the assessments, reassess to measure your progress anywhere from 3-6 months. It’s always exciting to see individual progress and rewarding to see all the hard work you are doing is paying off!