There are many gadgets to test your cardiovascular fitness and body fat ratio, which gauge your fitness scientifically. These are available at well-equipped fitness centres and gymnasiums. There are also many apps now to help you track your fitness goals. (Watch out for our special app reviews on WhatsApp- an exclusive coloumn on Padham Health News.)
We present some simple indicators that can give you an idea of how fit you are. These are meant for people who have no known ailments and are between ages 20 and 50.
Also read: Myths vs Facts on exercise and fitness
Cardiovascular Fitness :
Observation: After walking up a flight of stairs, do you feel short of breath? If you do, your cardiovascular system could do with some exercising.
A Simple Test: Take a deep breath and see how long you can hold your breath. If you can hold it for more than 45 seconds or more your lungs are probably working efficiently.
Observation: Do you feel tired after carrying a small child or a piece of luggage for ten minutes? If you do, your muscles are rusting from disuse. You could do with some strength training.
A Simple Test: Count the number of sit ups you can do in a minute. You have to lie flat on your back, heels firmly in place and knees bent. Interlock fingers of both hands and support the back of your head on these. Pull up to a sitting position without moving your feet. A reasonably fit man should be able to do more than twenty in a minute and a reasonably healthy woman can do more than 15.
Observation: Do you feel discomfort when bending to tie your shoelaces or when reaching for the cabinet shelf that is a few inches away form your outstretched hand? If you do, you need some limbering up.
A Simple Test: Sit with your legs stretched out before you. Place your feet a little apart. Now bend from the waist and touch the floor with your fingertips. If you can reach a couple of inches beyond the (imaginary) line your feet are on, you are pretty flexible. If your fingers stop three inches or more before the where your feet are, you better start your stretch exercises.