Many people have no idea how fit they are. Heck, most don’t even know what a fitness test would entail. Does it mean running a mile and seeing how many push-ups and sit-ups you can do? That is what people used to do back in P.E. in school as a fitness test.
Well let’s figure it out!
Importance of Fitness
Extra weight is a problem for a lot of reasons. It can lead to heart disease and diabetes. Being overweight has been linked to many other genetic diseases as well. The body has a hard time dealing with excess weight causing strain on the joints. Basically it is not good.
So what is overweight?
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism printed in April 2011 that the waist-to-weight ratio was the strongest warning sign for mortality and cardiovascular risk. Basically that means where you carry your weight. Some people are just large but proportioned correctly. Others are carrying too much extra weight in areas.
You also need to look at your maximal heart rate. This is related to how many beats your heart cranks out in a minute when under extreme stress. Being chased by a mugger, running to catch a falling child, and other serious stress events would be related to this maximum rate. Obviously when people undertake serious stress is where a heart attack occurs because the body can’t handle the situation.
Figuring out WHTR
The weight to height ratio is pretty simple. Divide your waist size by your height, both in inches. Make sure to measure and not just assume by pants size. Then from there, use a standard chart to determine where you fall. Make sure to use the proper gender.
Male Ratios –
- Healthy: 43-46
- Normal: 46-53
- Overweight: 53-58
- Obese: 58-63
- Extremely Obese: 63+
Female Ratios –
- Healthy: 42-46
- Normal: 46-49
- Overweight: 49-54
- Obese: 54-58
- Extremely Obese: 58+
Maximum Heart Rate
This one is a little different to factor out. Ideally you would sprint for a full minute as fast as possible, or as close to for as long as you can. Then take your pulse in beats per minute. The standard for healthy and normal people is around 220 minus your age. Obese people are closer to 208 minus (.7 x age). For those who are overweight this might be done at a doctor’s office for safety reasons.
Why it Matters
If you plan on living a long and healthy life then you need to take care of your body. Most of us are lucky to be in normal or slightly overweight. But if we expect to last into our later years and be able to enjoy ourselves then we need to be in good shape.
So track these critical markers of health. From there make a plan for fitness to improve on where you are if it needs improving. For those already in the healthy zone make sure to give yourself a nice pat on the back for a job well done!
The worst thing you can do is move the opposite direction down the chart as the years go by.