Top 10 fitness metrics explained


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Top 10 fitness metrics explained

Metrics are needed everywhere. Whether following through with a work report, calculating targets or just plain salary budgeting, metrics are important.

They tell us where we are, where we're headed, what we can hope for, what we need to rectify; in short, metrics are what make something tangible. Approaching health and fitness through fitness metrics is a sure-shot way of setting achievable goals. Metrics keep you motivated. Today we have jotted down the top 10 fitness metrics that will help you tweak your fitness plans and actions to achieve the best results. Let's begin...

Check your muscular fitness level by doing a basic crunch test: Here's how you can perform a basic crunch.

- Lie on the back on an exercise or yoga mat. Put your hands behind the head, knees bent, feet flat and slightly apart on the floor.
- Using the abdominal muscles (by contracting them), raise the shoulders off the floor. While going up, round the back and roll the spine upwards.
- Slowly come down to the initial position.
- Record the number of crunches you are able to perform and write it down in your weight loss journal.

Note: Do not push the head with the hands and do not try to go up with jerky movements. Keep the chin tucked in but do not let it dig into the chest.

Check your muscular fitness level by doing Push-Ups: Push ups are an ideal way of keeping a tab on your muscular strength. Here's how to do it:

- Lie facing the floor and make sure your elbows are bent. Keep your palms next to the shoulder facing the floor.
- Try and lower your full body with full power till the time your chest touches the floor.
- Now push your body in an upward direction and return to the starting position. This completes one full push-up.
- Record the number of push-ups you are able to perform and write it down in your weight loss journal.

This fitness test was listed by the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition of America.

Check your aerobic fitness level by brisk walking: Here's how to do it - Complete a brisk walk of around 1.6 kilometres. Walk anywhere - on the road, treadmill, shopping mall or park. Maintain your walking journal and note down your accurate pulse rate right before and after the walk.

This is how you can check your pulse level -
- Use your middle and index finger and place it on your neck, right next to your windpipe.
- For checking the pulse rate of your wrist, place two fingers right in the middle of bone and the tendon.
- Now look at the watch by checking the number of times your pulse is beating in every 10 seconds.
- Now multiply this by 6 to get your heart beat rate per minute. For instance, if you counted 35 beats in 15 seconds, your equation should look something like this: 35 X 4 = 140. This means your heart rate while walking at that intensity is 140 beats per minute.

This fitness test was listed by the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition of America.

Check your flexibility levels by doing a Sit-and-Reach test: This exercise helps in measuring your flexibility where the back of your legs, lower back and hips are concerned. Here's how to do it:

- Place a yardstick (or measured pole or tape) on the floor and mark the two ends of your yardstick at approximately 18 inch mark.
- Now position the soles of your feet in a manner which corresponds with the mark on the yardstick.
- Reach forward and place your hands on the yardstick. At least try to.
- See as far as you can go and hold this position for 2 to 5 seconds.
- Note the distance in your journal.
- Repeat this ideally for three more times and note the best of your distance in the journal.

This fitness test was listed by the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition of America.

Use social network tools to track your progress. Social networking sites and mobile apps are making it easier for people to track and share their fitness goals and activities with their virtual group. Motivation when worked upon collectively, works the best. Check on this post for more info.

Measure the amount of nutrition you are consuming. Use your smartphone, laptop, or paper and pen journal to track each and everything you eat to identify your nutritional intake. Writing your weight loss achievements acts as a deterrent- i.e. when you know you have to pen down your health journey of the day you will think twice before bingeing on that second serving of chocolate chip ice cream. Things a food diary must have are days, meal times, meal content, meal quantity and mood at the time of eating.

Measure your size. This may sound pretty old-fashioned, but the amount of satisfaction you will get by tape measuring different parts of your body is immeasurable. If you think you are dropping a size or two and you are not able to track your body fat, then monitor the size of different body parts like shoulders, waist, arms, hips, thighs and biceps by using a tape measure. If you are on the right track, your biceps will get bigger and your waist will shrink considerably. You can measure your waist circumference by measuring the area right above your hip bones by using an inch tape. Write the centimetres or inches in your weight journal.

Measure your body fat percentage. Get hold of a bathroom scale model or use a scale to measure your bioelectrical impedance, which essentially reports your body composition, i.e., percentages of lean mass, water weight, fat mass, etc. However, please note that bioelectrical impedance might give you swaying numbers based on your hydration levels, so measure your body fat at a particular time in a day, so that there is hardly any scope for fluctuation. Also, it is essential to note down your BMI (Body Mass Index). Check your Body Mass Index by using an online BMI calculator. Record your BMI in your weight journal.

Measure your weight. Buy a good scale at home or rely on an accurate electric weight machine at the gym to keep track of slight fluctuation in your overall weight. In order to check the right consistency of your weight machine, try and step on it from the left foot first and then from the right foot.

Measure the speed and distance of your runs. Strap a pedometer or time your workout with a normal stop watch. Measuring the distance and speed of your running schedule helps in upping your training plans and a decrease in overall times. Use apps and performance gadgets to monitor this metric.

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