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You’ve been busy huffing and puffing as you run, bike, walk, play tennis, etc. You sweat. You stretch.  You go to bed early and you get up the next day to start the cycle over again.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and we are all trying to figure out how to enjoy time spent with loved ones as we eat the good stuff, try not overindulge or add unwanted pounds all with a goal of keeping whatever it is we do for fitness somewhat on track.

Do you ever wonder how fit you really are?  You personally.  Along with your family.

I recently decided to see if my committment to steady exercise was paying off. It takes me a long time to lose numbers on the scale.  I personally don’t always see it as pounds lost but I do see it in other areas such as endurance, tone, clothing fitting more loosely.

I often get frustrated because the pounds just don’t come off quickly (or maybe I’m too impatient!).  So, I took The President’s Fitness Challenge.  Specifically, I wanted to challenge myself, learn my baseline and identify areas where I need to improve. The President’s Fitness Challenge offers two versions:  adult and youth fitness.

The President’s Fitness Challenge – The Adult Challenge  

The Adult Challenge measures and evaluates four areas of health-related fitness:

  1. Aerobic fitness—the ability of your heart and lungs to deliver blood to muscles
  2. Muscular strength and endurance—whether you are strong enough to do normal activities easily and protect your lower back
  3. Flexibility—the ability to move your joints through their proper range of motion
  4. Body composition—whether you have too much body fat, especially around the waist

Try testing yourself in all four areas.  If after reading the test instructions that feels like too much then start with one or two areas and see how you do.  Take the Adult Fitness Test here:  https://www.adultfitnesstest.org/

If you or a loved one are concerned or not sure if you’re healthy enough to perform the fitness test, click here: https://www.adultfitnesstest.org/riskQuestionaire.php

To find out more about the President’s Fitness Challenge – Adult Challenge: https://www.presidentschallenge.org/challenge/adult.shtml

The President’s Fitness Challenge – The Youth Fitness Challenge

Measures the physical fitness of youth and teens.  To find out more about the Presidential Youth Fitness Program: https://www.presidentschallenge.org/challenge/pyfp.shtml

Take the Youth Fitness Challenge here:  http://www.pyfp.org/

Other tests that can be used to measure and evaluate your current fitness level include:

The Marine Corps Fitness Test.  This test assesses pull-ups, push-ups and running for males and females age 17 and up.

Take the challenge here:  http://www.military.com/military-fitness/marine-corps-fitness-requirements/usmc-physical-fitness-test

I’m too scared to try this one.  Maybe you’ll tell me how you did if you took the Marine Corps Fitness Test!

CrossFit offers a fitness test that measures bench press, clean and jerk, Tabata squat and deadlift.  And of course there is always the workout of the day (WOD).

Take the challenge here:  http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/08_03_How_Fit_Are_You.pdf

Your Next Steps

Set aside some uninterrupted time.  Determine the test you want to try (or you want your kids to try).  Challenge yourself as you complete the various assessments for the fitness test.  Record your performance.  Determine areas where you need to improve. Continue (and/or modify) your existing exercise training routine.

When you feel ready, test yourself again (set a retest goal:  3 months, 6 months, next Thanksgiving, your next birthday, etc.).  Compare your findings to your prior fitness test(s) to see if improvements have been made.  Adjust accordingly and try again.

Fitness Test