Measuring Personal Fitness | Everyday Health

Evaluating your fitness level is not a one-size-fits-all process. Differences in lifestyle, muscle tissue, genetic makeup, and overall health all help determine your personal fitness level. “It is an individual measurement that is not always dependent on how much physical activity you do,” notes Jim Pivarnik, PhD, president of the […]

Evaluating your fitness level is not a one-size-fits-all process. Differences in lifestyle, muscle tissue, genetic makeup, and overall health all help determine your personal fitness level.

“It is an individual measurement that is not always dependent on how much physical activity you do,” notes Jim Pivarnik, PhD, president of the American College of Sports Medicine and director of the Center for Physical Activity and Health at Michigan State University in East Lansing .

So how can you tell if your exercise and healthy diet habits are paying off? There are several ways to measure your fitness level.

The Five Components of Fitness

“Measuring fitness is multi-dimensional,” explains Pivarnik. “Long-distance runners have excellent cardiovascular health, but if all you are is legs and lungs, you won’t have a lot of strength or flexibility. By the same measure, someone who is overweight and aerobically fit is healthier than someone who is in the normal weight range but doesn’t exercise.”

Overall physical fitness is said to consist of five different elements:

  1. Aerobic or cardiovascular endurance
  2. Muscular strength
  3. Muscular endurance
  4. Flexibility
  5. Body composition

Thorough fitness evaluations include exercises and activities that specifically measure your ability to participate in aerobic, or cardiovascular, exercise as well as your muscular strength, endurance, and joint flexibility. Special tools are also used to determine your body composition or percentage of total body fat.

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Thu Apr 23 , 2020
University Hospital of Brooklyn   In accordance with New York State Department of Health Guidelines and to ensure a safe environment for our patients and visitors amid the spread of 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we have updated our policy for visitors to the hospital and clinics. Effective immediately, we are […]