So how fit are you? You most likely have mapped your fitness level in your head by seeing the number on your weighing scale. But mind you, that is not the entire story. Your weight alone is not the deciding factor of your fitness level.
We bring you some tests that you can do at home to measure and realign your fitness goals. Here’s how:
If you can climb 2 flights of stairs or walk 2kms without breathlessness and without fatigue, you can call yourself fit, suggests Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, Hon. Secretary General, Indian Medical Association and President, Heart Care Foundation of India. If your fatigue lasts beyond 30 minutes after exercising, you are unfit.
If you can walk for more than 500 meters in 6 minutes, you are fit. But if you can walk less than 200 meters in 6 minutes, then you are probably unwell and need medical attention. If you can walk between 200-500 meters, then you need to consult a doctor to overrule any underlying ailment.
Rate of Perceived Exertion:
If you don’t have a heart rate monitor at home, there is a simple technique called Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) that can help you with the assessment. For RPE, 0 means fresh and 10 means breathless. Try jumping jacks for 2 minutes and rate your exertion between 0-10. If it is below 4, consider your heart health poor.
Flexibility makes you agile. Every muscle has a range of motion (ROM) and it should be stretched to its functions range to ensure you avoid injuries. A person who is flexible slips on a banana peel, he will land up in a split and not tear his muscles. Dr Kiran Sawhney, founder of Fitness Solutions, New Delhi explains how to test flexibility:
Lie down straight on your back. Now lift your leg up and if you are able to effortlessly reach 90 degrees, it means your hamstrings are flexible enough.
When you fold your knee, your heel should be able to touch your hips.
Stand straight with your back and neck in a straight line. Now take your left arm across your body and use your right arm to pull it a little further. Try holding it. If you able to do this with little effort, your shoulder flexibility is fine.
Push-ups and planks:
The perfect way to assess your muscular strength is through push-ups and planks. If you are able to do 10-20 repetitions without over exerting yourself, your muscle strength is rated fine.
Vertical jump test:
Dr. Santosh Kumar Agarwal, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Kailash Hospital & Heart Institute, Noida suggests Vertical Jump Test. This is used to determine leg muscle strength. To perform the test, the attempt is to reach the highest point on a wall by jumping. In males reaching a height over 28 inches is excellent, between 24 and 28 inches is very good, 20 and 24 inches is above average and less than 8 inches is very poor. For women this gets reduced by 4 inches per scale.
BODY MASS INDEX
In case of men, the fat percentage should be 18-24 percent and for women it should be 15-18 percent. To assess your body mass percentage, you can do the pinch test at home. “Pinch and hold the flesh from the side of your waist, arms, thighs and if you are able to pinch more than 2 inches of flesh, it means your fat percentage is higher than what it should be,” suggests Dr Kiran Sawhney, founder of Fitness Solutions, New Delhi.
Waist to hip ratio:
According to a study in the European Heart Journal, both your waist-to-hip ratio and waist circumference are linked to heart disease risk. To map the waist-to-hip ratio, measure the widest parts of your waist and hips. Now use this number to assess your ratio online. There are a couple of online apps available for the same (Health Status, BMI calculator and more)
Hold your breath:
Cardiac surgeon, Dr Sanjay Gupta, Fortis Healthcare suggests a home technique to assess your lung health. If you can hold your breath for 30 seconds to a minute, your lungs are in proper working condition.
featured image source:daystofitness