5 Ways To Measure Your Health And Fitness

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There’s no question that your health is your greatest wealth. A healthy mind and body can significantly reduce your risk of developing various health problems that can affect your quality of life. That’s why many people try to change their routines and practice habits such as exercising regularly and eating correctly.  

People who pursue a healthier lifestyle often assess their progress by their weight or how well they can perform physical activities like running. These measures are good indicators that can tell you the condition of your body. The improvements you see physically will also help motivate you to hit your fitness goals. You can consider the following to measure your current health and fitness level.  

Cardiovascular Fitness 

Your cardiovascular fitness or how efficiently you use oxygen during high-intensity exercises can tell you a lot about your fitness level. When you perform activities, you inhale oxygen which goes to your bloodstream. It’ll then flow throughout your body, including your skeletal muscles, allowing them to move and work.  

If your body can efficiently use the oxygen you consume, you’re less likely to feel tired after light physical activities. The biggest improvement you’ll see when you start working out is your cardiovascular fitness level. Those who don’t work out regularly will have difficulty performing simple tasks like climbing up the stairs or jogging for a few minutes. They’ll feel out of breath, and their muscles will start to stiffen after minimal exercise. However, those who perform high-intensity exercises combined with cardio regularly will handle physical activities better.  

There are many of factors that can affect your overall oxygen consumption. Your age, weight, gender, and daily routine can all affect your fitness level. When you begin working out regularly, you’ll start to feel more in shape, and you can gradually perform more intense activities without running out of breath.

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Body Measurements 

Most people get into fitness to lose weight. Years of poor lifestyle choices can eventually lead to weight gain, affecting both a person’s quality of life and self-confidence. Working out and practicing healthy eating habits will help you lose the extra pounds you’ve gained, and the results will be visible in your body.  

You’ll see a difference in your body which is easily measurable. Taking body measurements frequently can help you track if you’re making progress. For instance, you can measure your waist circumference, arms, and thighs before starting a fitness program. After a month, you can check if the numbers changed. Seeing the numbers go down is a good sign that you’re on the right track.  

Your weight is also a good measure of your health and fitness level. You can try to get your body mass index or BMI to see if your weight is proportional to your height. Many health problems can arise if your overweight or obese, so it’s helpful to watch how much you weigh.  

To get your BMI, you should first get your weight and height measurements in metric units. You can then use this formula to compute your BMI results:  

  • BMI = weight (kg) / height (m) 2   

If the result is between 18 and 25, you’re in the normal weight range. Getting a number above 25 can be a sign of being overweight. 

Fat and Muscle Mass 

Your body composition can tell you a lot about your health and fitness. Aside from measuring your total body weight, you should also check how much fat and muscle you have. Some people with normal BMIs still can’t perform rigorous activities since they don’t have enough muscle mass.

One way to tell that you’re fit is to have a proportionate amount of muscles and fat in your body. If you work out regularly, you’ll slowly burn excess fat and start to build muscles. The more muscles you have, the stronger you’ll feel, and the better your metabolism will be.  

For women, the healthy range of body fat is between 20% and 30%. The ideal body fat percentage range for men is between 8% and 24%. Various factors such as your age, lifestyle, and physical activity will affect your body fat composition.  

The average muscle mass percentage for men is around 30% to 40%, while the healthy muscle mass for women is between 26% to 34%. Of course, these values depend on various factors, and some people may have higher muscle mass in their bodies due to their lifestyles. Athletes or bodybuilders, for instance, will have higher muscle mass percentages compared to an average person. 

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Blood Pressure and Heart Recovery 

A sign of a healthy body is also evident in how well your body systems function. One benefit of working out regularly is maintaining your blood pressure. Having your blood pressure within the normal range is a good indicator of a healthy body.

Various health problems can arise from hypertension, such as atherosclerosis or a mini-stroke which is why you need to watch your blood pressure regularly. Exercises that promote a healthy blood flow throughout your body, such as cardio or high-intensity interval training (HIIT), can also help prevent high blood pressure from occurring. 

Another measure of overall fitness is your heart rate recovery (HRR). Your HRR is how fast your heart rate returns to normal after exercise. If you’re in good condition, your heart will have little trouble returning to its normal resting rhythm quickly. This means that after a minute or two of intense exercise, your heart rate and breathing should start to return to its normal pace.

Lifestyle and Habits 

Your lifestyle choices are also a good indicator of your health. It’s impossible to have a healthy body if you’re not eating well and if you don’t have any form of exercise. You can also develop various health problems if you don’t practice good lifestyle habits.  

Besides proper diet and exercise, other factors such as your sleeping habits, vices, and current environment can also affect your overall health.  

Getting enough sleep will help recharge your body and will reduce your risk of having chronic medical conditions. It’s advisable that you get at least eight hours of rest every night to allow your body to recover properly.  

Smoking and drinking alcohol can also affect your overall health and fitness. You may find yourself constantly out of breath or exhausted for no reason if you’re a frequent smoker or drinker. Those who don’t have any vices will have better health and have lower risks of developing health problems related to smoking and drinking.  

If you practice good lifestyle habits, you’ll be healthier, and doing daily activities will be much easier. You’ll also feel much better, both physically and mentally, which can significantly improve your overall well-being and quality of life.

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Final Thoughts  

There are various ways to tell if you’re healthy or not. Of course, the measures you use to evaluate your current health and fitness level are just references that tell you how your body is. The results will continuously change as you go on your fitness journey, and there may be times when you won’t see any changes. However, what’s important is to practice healthy life choices to improve your overall wellness.