Physical fitness tests

Find out whether you are fit enough to be healthy.

Many of the most helpful and reliable physical fitness tests are easy to do at home and require very little equipment! There are tests for strength, body composition, and endurance.  When you take the tests, you will be able to compare your results to your peers. For example, an average lady in her 40s has a VO2 Max (cardio endurance rating) of about 32. She can do 15 push ups on her knees, and her waist is about 34.5 inches. How do you compare?

As you look up your test results you'll see how much you need to improve to lower your risk of future health concerns. Every step of progress counts. Even a modest improvement in cardio fitness can lower your risk of heart disease by 13%!

Test again in 6-12 weeks to see your progress.

Please note:  Exercise testing is generally safe, but major complications such as MI or heart arrythmias have been reported in clinical settings as often as 5 times per 10,000 tests.  Sudden cardiac death has occurred in up to 1 out of every 20,000 tests.  Please see your health care provider to be sure you can take these tests safely.

Strength and cardiovascular tests

Rockport Walking Test 
This simple test makes it possible for non-athletes to find their VO2 Max. Walk 1 mile for time, and enter your heart rate into the fitness calculator. The better your score, the lower your risk for future health issues.

VO2 Max
Analyze your results from the Cooper Test and the Rockport Walking Test. See the average VO2 Max for your age group and find out how much you need to improve your fitness to lower your health risk significantly.

Cooper Test
A 1.5 mile jog / run for runners and more athletic types. The Cooper Test also measures upper body strength with a maximum push up test.  1000s of people were tested in the research, so you will get a fair comparison to people in your age group.

Abdominal muscle strength
The Curl up test is the most scientific and accurate abdominal test you can perform at home. (1). For best results, be sure to follow the illustrations and instructions.

Body composition tests

Complete your profile by taking body weight, waist and hip measurements along with the other physical fitness tests. A person with a healthy weight or body composition has, on average, a 50% lower risk of premature death than an obese person. For the most accurate results, take all 3 body composition tests below.

Body mass index
Are you obese, overweight, or normal weight? How do you compare with men and women of the same height? Health risk charts are included for your reference.

Waist circumference
Find out how many inches you need to lose for better health. Learn proper waist measurement technique as you compare your waist line to averages for your gender and ethnicity.

Waist hip ratio
Studies show that having a small waist when compared to your hips will give you significant health benefits. Compare your measurements to healthy standards for your gender.

Obesity scale
Analyze your results from the 3 body composition tests above, and get a research-based health rating. Find out how every pound and inch of improvement counts. 

Free Ebook by Rob Cowell, PT

The Five Most Important Health and Fitness Tests

This guide is the perfect starting point to help you track your health risks and keep them as low as possible.  The tests in this eBook are easy to perform and very reliable, based on a great deal of scientific evidence.   You'll be able to set exercise goals for what you truly need to develop and maintain good health and fitness.   

Physical fitness articles

Definition of physical fitness
Are you able to get your work done without a sense of strain or fatigue? Physical fitness also has to do with how well your body works for you in everyday life. See how you measure up to this standard of well-being.

Benefits of physical fitness
Personal health and fitness directly relates to your quality of life, affecting your decisions, activities, opportunities, and more. Compare the effects of active and inactive lifestyles.  TV time has a greater impact than you might expect.

After 6-12 weeks of consistent exercise, come back and take these physical fitness tests again to check your progress.

Return from physical fitness tests to home page: Why I exercise