11 Little Ways to Know If You’re Fit
You don’t have to be a super athlete to be in good shape. Faring well at these basic fitness tests (no gym needed) can help you live your strongest life.
You take breaks hauling groceries and can't touch your toes. But you kill it in cycling class, and the scale number has stayed pretty steady for a while. It gets you thinking: Are you really in decent enough shape for a woman your age? “The occasional out-of-breath moment, ache, or pain isn't an automatic sign you're out of shape,” says Gary Liguori, PhD, dean of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Rhode Island. “Being fit is a larger picture made up of your strength and stamina and whether the combination of these lets you live your best life.”
There are four key measures to look at when evaluating your fitness level: muscle strength and endurance, aerobic fitness, body composition, and flexibility. “We tend to fixate on weight, but basic competency in these areas is a more meaningful measure of health because it enables you to stay active and do more of what you love for longer,” says Pete McCall, a personal trainer and spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise in San Diego. Putting just a little extra effort into each category can benefit your well-being, from lowering your heart disease and cancer risks to boosting memory and even slowing the skin-aging process (yes, please).