7 Signs Of Physical Fitness That Have Nothing To Do With Weight

It’s easy and tempting to focus on the number on the scale and say you want to get to some magical weight – the weight you will be where all your dreams come true, when all your clothes fit like they ought to, when crowds part as people admire you, where you can eat anything you want to without a care in the world. (Sorry, I don’t think that place exists)

I have a goal weight and you probably do too. I do cardio and run and bike and strength train all in an attempt to get to that goal weight because I think my fitness level will be so much better then – it’s easier to run/bike uphill if I’m not dragging excess body weight along with me and I hope to achieve good muscular strength on the journey to that goal weight, muscles that will help me to do all the things I want to, and do them more efficiently.

There is a popular misconception that you just have to get skinny and some people try to achieve that goal by dieting only – so they eat less and exercise never. Mistake! Sure you will drop pounds if you eat less than your body needs. But being skinny isn’t the focus. The focus has to be on getting to your body’s healthiest level.7 signs of physical fitness that have nothing to do with your weight.

 

Sure, its entirely possible to get to a goal weight without being able to do the things you really want to do with your body, but that’s not fitness. Physical fitness is the ability to use your body to accomplish specific tasks.

Here are 7 ways to measure your physical fitness that have nothing to do with your weight.

  1. A popular test for Balance is for you to stand on one leg with your eyes closed for 30 seconds. Can you do it?
  2. The Mile Run tests your ability to run continuously for a mile, without stopping, and hopefully without feeling like you’re going to pass out. If you were in danger and needed to run away from someone chasing you, or if you needed to run to help someone else who was in danger, could you?
  3. How hard is it for you to Transition Between Activities? After you’ve completed an activity, can you move on to something else without having to sit down and take a rest?
  4. Flexibility is the ability to move your joints through their normal range of motion. Yoga poses test our ability to move limbs and stretch muscles.
  5. Rise Unsupported – If you were sitting or lying on ground, could you get up and into a standing position without using your  hands for support? The chair test is used for seniors but the floor test is great modification for everyone else.
  6. The Pull Up is the ultimate test of muscular strength. It involves holding on to a bar to support your body weight just by upper strength. Imagine hanging off a ledge, gripping the edge of the ledge with your fingers and not being able to pull yourself to safety. The pull up is actually harder the more you weigh but if you weigh a lot and have strong chest and arm muscles, it won’t matter as much.
  7. Coordination tests your ability to move different muscle groups at the same time to synchronize movements. Swimming is an excellent test for coordination, especially since foot motion and strokes are at different speeds. Jumping rope is a also a coordinated activity, Click to watch a https://www.youtube.com/embed/iZamtJlKKt4” target=”_blank”>you-tube video of double-unders, where you skip the rope twice for every time you jump.

It’s not just about how much your body weighs. What matters more is how much you can do with your body, and your overall health.

Each week, I usually post specific goals but this week, I am focusing  on getting closer to some of these benchmarks of physical fitness. My specific fitness goal this week is to complete a set of double-unders.

Did I miss anything? What is one activity that you consider to be the benchmark of healthy body? 

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Martha B says:

    So weird!! I was working on a post kind of like this – basically about how I know I need to drop some weight (ugh winter fluff) to run at my greatest capacity. While weight is definitely not the good standard of health, I know getting mine back under control will help make everything else easier. Sure, I consider myself fit, but I also know how much better I felt when I was 15 pounds lighter. I definitely don’t think obsessing over the scale is healthy, and I think that no matter what your weight is, you should get out there and do the activities you love! If those activities bring you to a healthy weight… All the better 🙂 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Thanks, Martha. Some of these activities are pretty hard to do if you have extra weight carrying around.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Chatter says:

    The question is do you test before or after running a marathon or longer? Before two weeks ago I so could have passed this test, right now I am suffering on all levels. Good post though, and a very valid point on overall fitness. The diet part is the hardest part to figure out, but if you don’t have the fitness its useless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      The good thing is that when you have a good foundation, you can bounce back quickly. You’ll be back to your levels pretty soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. I found myself reading each tip an stopping to see if I can do it. I clearly still have some work to do, but will continue to push forward. thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      That’s awesome. And when you’ve reached all the benchmarks, just keep improving. 😀

      Like

  4. Kay R. says:

    Love this. Sometimes I get way too focused on the number on the scale and not the fitness factor which is ways more imp. Thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Thanks. I needed the reminder myself too 😀

      Like

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