Are You Really in Good Shape? 8 Ways to Measure Your Fitness Level
Everybody knows that the key to good health is getting enough exercise and eating right. But how can you determine whether you are at the right level of fitness? Here are 8 easy ways to figure out if you are at the right fitness level.
1. You can hit the average number of pushups for your gender
Pushups might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but the ability to do them goes a long way towards determining whether you are fit. What makes them so efficient is that pushups work so many different muscles: your chest, shoulders, triceps, and abs. On average, females in their 20s should be able to do 15 pushups while their male counterparts should be able to do 29.
2. You can complete between 45 and 60 crunches in one minute
If you can do more than 45 crunches you are doing pretty well. More than 60 crunches with proper form, you are rock solid. The key is to not to cheat though. Make sure your feet are flat and place your heels about 18 inches (45cm) from your butt. Your arms should be at your sides with palms against the floor. This prevents you from being able to pull up on your neck.
3. You have no problems getting a good night’s rest
If you are getting enough exercise, it can actually help you sleep properly because it keeps your circadian rhythm in working order. Exercise has also been shown to combat against sleeping disorders such as insomnia. If you have trouble sleeping restfully, try adding a brisk, 30 minute walk into your daily routine.
4. You can touch your toes with little effort
If you can easily touch your toes, it is a sign of proper flexibility. Stand with your legs and back straight and bend over at the waist until you feel some slight discomfort. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Alternatively, you can sit with your legs stretched out and a yard stick between them and stretch your arms forward until it is no longer possible to reach out any further. For adult men, the ability to reach out 20 inches (50cm) is ideal whereas it should be 29 inches (73cm) for women.
5. You can run two miles (3.2km) in around 18 minutes
If you can run two miles, it is a good sign that you are in shape. In fact, it is how the U.S. Army tests the level of its trainees during boot camp. If you can run two miles in under 18 minutes, you hit the average. Of course, if you are struggling, you shouldn’t worry too much. There are plenty of ways to build up your speed and endurance by going about it slowly and gradually increasing your distance.
6. You have healthy BMI
Your BMI is measured by determining how much you should weigh given your height. As a rule, males who have a waste size above 40 inches (101cm) and women above 35 inches (89cm) face potential risks for developing diabetes and other health problems. However, BMI isn’t an exact science as it makes no distinction between fat and muscle weight. As a result, healthy athletes might exceed the recommended levels due to muscle mass.
7. Your heart rate at rest is low
When you are taking part in an intense workout, your heart should be beating fast. But if you are fit, it should slow down to between 50 and 100 beats per minute since the heart obviously shouldn’t be working overly hard (or under performing) when you are resting. Along the same lines, a sign of good health is when your heart quickly returns to normal levels after a workout.
8. You get 2 hours of quality exercise a week
Studies have found that when it comes to fitness, it isn’t really about how much you workout, but rather how intense your workouts are. For the week, you should try to walk briskly for around 150 minutes. For running and high-level aerobics, 75 minutes should be sufficient. There are other little tricks for increasing your exercise. For example, take the stairs instead of elevators when possible. Park your car several blocks away from your workplace. These little routines make a big difference for your long-term health.