Have you ever had a fitness test of some kind – a stress test at a doctor’s office, a fitness test at a gym, or in physical education class in elementary school? Then you know testing your fitness level can be quite uncomfortable to say the least! The traditional goal of fitness testing is to find the limits of your body in order to gain information that will guide a treatment or exercise plan. However, when discomfort, pain, or pushing to “failure” is the introduction (or re-introduction) to exercise , it can take its toll on motivation does not give us a complete guide for fitness for health and wellbeing.
Let’s try a different approach to testing fitness level, one that comfortably lets you decide, on a very personal level, what you might need in a fitness plan for well-being.
To start, let’s get clear about what we are measuring. The definition of physical fitness for health and well-being is: The ability to carry out daily tasks with alertness and vigor, without undue fatigue, and with enough energy reserve to meet emergencies or to enjoy leisure time pursuits. So this fitness test it is not about how much weight you can lift, how many sit-ups you can do, how fast you can run, or how far you can stretch. Those momentary feats do not give us all the information we need about your body’s ability to let you enjoy life fully.
First, take out a piece of paper and pen and mindfully (non-judgmentally with kindness) rate these areas on a scale of 1 to 10:
Next, brainstorm thoughts about the following questions:
- What would I love to be able to do more easily, but am not confident in my body’s ability to do it safely and successfully?
- What do I need more of to be able to live life with enough energy left over to enjoy life and meet emergencies? Strength? Stamina? Energy? Balance? Agility? Flexibility? _____?
- On a scale of 1-10, how important is it for me to be able to live life with enough energy left over for fun and emergencies? Why?
For best results, take this fitness test a few times over a month to get an overall sense of your fitness level for well-being. Now, I know if you are reading this in the midst of your holiday preparations or another busy time in your life, you might put it off until life is a bit calmer. Before you do, consider this; what better time to assess your body’s ability to live life fully than when your life is fullest?
In upcoming blogs, and in the next video series, we will look at how you can use the information you gather to craft your fitness plan for well-being.
Bottom line: Fitness for well-being is having confidence in your own physical ability to enjoy life to the fullest each day!
Be Well Now,