Vinluan: Fitness testing-A A +A
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
IF YOU judge how fit you are by how long you last, your definition of fitness is stuck in the cardio-centric ‘80s. When aerobic workouts are in the boom and you ask yourself “fit for what?”
To meet today’s standards, exercise physiologists recommend a total-body approach that encompasses aerobic and anaerobic endurance, muscular strength, balance, power, agility, speed and flexibility, plus healthy eating habits and strategies for dealing with daily stresses.
Exercise experts measure fitness by putting people through a series of tests, each one designed to asses a specific component, to know someone’s current fitness status to be able to determine and design a program to bring them to the next level. By doing tests, experts are also able to assess their abilities and weaknesses, to be able to specify and distinguish their training programs.
How fit are you? Testing yourself through aerobic endurance tests, will give you the idea of how fit you are, example, is with your cardiovascular tests; by mapping out a flat 5 Km route and complete the distance as fast as you can without stopping and record your time. Your age level i.e 20-29 years old and your time in minute’s i.e 23:00 min (excellent) 24:00(moderate) 25:00 or more (poor), determines your cardiovascular endurance rating.
Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of the heart, lungs and circulatory system to supply oxygen to the muscles. Your aerobic (oxygen-dependent) system sustains the body in aerobic exercises such as long runs, swimming etc. and other extended activities. On the other hand, anaerobic endurance tests also known as muscle endurance tests, is the ability of the muscle group to sustain high-intensity activities for a period of time without the use of oxygen.
Anaerobic endurance is important for activities that require short bursts of muscle strength like jumping, sprinting and dashing up stairs. Anaerobic tests include stationary activities like rope jump with a rope tied 12 inches high between two poles, you rate yourself on how many jumps you can do side-to-side over the rope and considering your age, i.e. 20-29 years old 51 jumps or more(excellent), 40-50 jumps (moderate), 39-below (Poor). Do the same with your sit up rating yourself by the number of repetitions you can do.
Muscular strength tests like push-ups and pull-ups are measured by rating yourself in repetitions considering your age level, balance rating on the other hand is measured by squatting in one leg, measuring the degree angle at which standing leg is bent. Power is speed and strength combined, and are explosive motions like jumping, basketball lay-ups’ or serving tennis balls.
Agility is the ability to quickly accelerate, decelerate and switch directions, it comes to play when speed and power are applied toward direction change, as in tennis, soccer, basketball etc. This can be tested by a two-line hop, by putting two pieces of tape on the floor parallel to each other and with one foot lifted and hopping on the other (side to side) on the opposite line.
Although you may look strong on the outside, your insides can tell a different story, the last thing to keep in mind is to see if your nutrition add up to healthy or heinous eating habits.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 24, 2013.