How “Fit” Are You?

There are many “fit tests” that are recognized as markers to determine what “fit age” or how “fit” you are in general.  For example, a test that says you should be able to do into your 50’s is the sit/rise test, which involves you to sit down to the ground from standing with legs crossed then stand back up without using any support – no hands, elbows, sides of legs, furniture, walls….  Another one is the sit-and-reach test, which is a way to measure the flexibility of the back of your legs, hips and lower back.  This is done by sitting down with your legs out straight and spread out slightly in a V shape.  You then lean forward as far as you can holding for at least 1 second and measuring your distance.  Or there is the standard measure of BMI (body mass index) Your body mass index (BMI) is a calculation that indicates whether you have a healthy amount of body fat. It is basically to do with height and weight. 

I can tell you I have been physically active all my life, with many awards from track and field, to team sports, to fitness competitions and still in training, to where I have never been able to do some of these.  I have had also many fit clients in the same boat as me and on the flip side many unfit clients that could do these!   Also, BMI is so generalized to around a specific standard of woman and man that if you are taller or shorter or even more muscular than average, it does not take these things into account, making it a very unreliable measure.   So, if these are some of the standard tests to see how fit or healthy you are may seem futile.  But there is good news and much more realistic ways to test how fit or healthy you are, as follows:

  • Your heart rate is in a healthy range of between 60-100 beats per minute.  This is best taken in the morning and should stay pretty consistent each morning.  
  • You have no problem keeping pace with your peers on a walk or jog and your breathing feels in control.
  • You have a good recovery time.  If your heart rate goes back into a healthy zone within 5 minutes, you’re in good shape.
  • You exercise consistently and in a healthy way, not too much, or too little.  You are getting the recommended 150 minutes per week of aerobic activity (30 minutes per day) and at least 2 days of strength training.  
  • You are a parent or even a grandparent and find it easy to pick up the kids, crawl around the floor with them, push a stroller, or able to use a child carrier in front or back of you with ease.
  • Stairs are not the enemy and you actually prefer them over an elevator
  • You are able to do a variety of different exercises or activities even if it is not routine without a lot of issue
  • You get enough sleep.  This you know because you have good energy throughout the day and feel rested not tired when you wake up.
  • Your mental health is in check – Exercise has been shown to improve mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, improved mood, cognitive function and better self esteem.
  • You are positive and laugh a lot

As you can see there isn’t just one measure to indicate how fit you are!  Fit also may be perceived by some as in how a person looks i.e. lean, toned or muscular, or how fast someone can run or lift.  “Fit” can have many variations within its in meaning.  But for general health the above points are a sure way to gauge how “fit” you are. 

*If this article or any past articles leaves you with questions, the want to be a better you, the courage to take the first step to a happier you, than please contact me at: 

Mikkie Nettles, Certified Personal Trainer/Holistic & Sports Nutritionist
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