How would you define being fit? The dictionary would define it as 'in good health'. Is that it, you might ask. A rippling physique may not be the certificate of fitness, nor can a lean frame be dismissed as being unfit. While there may be several benchmarks to test your fitness at various levels, we bring you five simple ways to check how fit you are:
Flexibility of the upper body
Stand up and bend your right arm over your right shoulder and keep it on the shoulder plate. Now bend your left arm behind your arm and try to clasp the fingers of the right hand. If you succeed, bravo! You can allow yourself a nervous smile if the fingers brush but if they are nowhere near each other, then... ahem. Also, try the other way, too—left arm over the shoulder and right arm behind the back.
Flexibility of the lower body
Lie down with your legs stretched out and arms by the sides. Lift you right leg towards the ceiling, keeping it as straight as possible. As you approach the 90-degree mark, ensure the left leg stays horizontal to the ground. If you manage to hit the mark (or come close to it) without bending the knee, hurray! If not, get up and get running, and stretch those hamstrings. With care, of course.
From 'sit' to 'stand'
Sit cross-legged on the floor (like we Indians do!) and try to stand up to an upright position without using hands or any support at all. A piece of cake, you say? Sure, if you have core strength and good overall balance. But, if you don't, and if you have to use your hands to get up, no more cheating on your daily exercise routine.
It might seem easy, but there's nothing more effective than the humble push-up to test your overall body strength. Balance your body on the palms of your hands kept shoulder-width apart and the balls of your feet. Now, lower your body and raise it back again. The hip and the shoulders should be in a straight line and the knees should not bend. Also, the elbows should point backwards, preferably, at 4'o clock and 8'o clock positions. If you do it at least five times without breaking a sweat and feel good for more, way to go! If not, time to start from scratch, or rather, the floor.
Stand up and lift both your arms straight overhead. Now, lower your body to the squat position so that the thighs are parallel to the ground—as if you are sitting on an invisible chair with your arms over your head. If you do up to five repetitions without feeling any pain on your knees or losing your balance, you are a champ! If not, you need to work on your muscle endurance and stability.