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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kristen Mitteness

5 Measurable Fitness Tests to Determine Your Health Status

How fit are you? Do you know how to test your fitness? These are five of my favorite measurable fitness tests to determine how functional you currently are - that is, how well you can perform every day life. If you have a weakness in any of them, simply practice it! Improving your general health will also improve many of these factors.

  1. Stand on each leg for 30 seconds. The ability to balance improves the way your brain and body communicate. It also reduces your risk of falling and getting injured. I suggest practicing this one when you are brushing your teeth or washing your hands. If you practice it daily, you should notice improvements within a few weeks.

  2. Broad jump the equivalent of your height. The ability to jump off both legs shows you the level of lower body power you have. Age and sex will play a factor in this one. The more strength you build in your lower body with squats and lunges, the bigger the increase you will see in this fitness test. Read more about it here.

  3. Hold your breath for 30 seconds. Lung capacity and development is not only great for improving your physical capacity, it may also impact the ability of your lungs to manage respiratory illness. There are two ways to test your ability to hold your breath. You can do it while you ares sitting still or you can do it while you are walking leisurely. This will get better the more you participate in activities that require more breathing (walking up hill, jogging, swimming, biking, skating, etc). Or you can practice it simply by holding your breath more often. This website has a ton of great information on improving your ability to hold your breath and how it impacts your life.

  4. Get on and off the ground without your hands. There was a study out of Brazil in 2014 that used one's ability to get on and off the ground without the use of hands as an indicator of all cause mortality. This particular movement essentially tests your mobility and independence if you happen to find yourself on the floor. If you've ever been to a third world country, you will have noticed that not only do they spend more time on the floor or close to the floor, they often rest in a full squat position. So, how do you get better at this one? Spend more time on the floor! It's more fun if you have babies or pets to play when with you're there.

  5. Hang for 40 seconds. This test is greatly affected by one's weight. It is a great test of grip and upper body endurance. If you have access to monkey bars, this is a fun one to practice. If you have sever shoulder issues, be careful with this one. If you are trying to improve your shoulder flexibility or strength, this one is a great addition to your warm up!

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