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4 Fitness Tests You Can Do at Home

Do-It-Yourself Fitness Assessments
  -- By Jason Anderson, Certified Personal Trainer
Why do you exercise? Whether you want to increase your energy, reduce your health risks, or lose some unwanted pounds, do you ever wonder if all that working out is working for you? That's where fitness assessments come in, and they can be great motivational tools to help you reach your goals.

Measuring your fitness level regularly is one way to find out if you're making progress. Most fitness centers have trained staff who can evaluate your body composition, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance, but it can be pricey. If you don’t have access to all the toys and tools of your gym, don’t panic. You have everything you need to measure your fitness level in your own house!

Start with the simple assessments below, whether you plan to start an exercise program tomorrow or you've been at it for a while.

The Pushup Test (measures muscular strength and endurance)
The Crunch Test (measures abdominal strength and endurance)
The 3-Minute Step Test (measures aerobic fitness)
The 1-Mile Walk Test (measures aerobic fitness)

These tests are great tools to see how you are doing. When you're done testing, you can track your scores on SparkPeople to keep track of your progress! If you don’t score as well as you like, just remember to focus on improving your own scores periodically. As long as you are improving, your fitness plan is working. If you find you aren’t making the progress that you feel you should be seeing, it may be time to change your workout routine.