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Monitoring your Progress

Assessments and Goals are a powerful motivational tool. Goals are effectively a desired finishing outcome. This goal is effectively a seed. Once a the goal or seed has been planted a plan of action and series of steps follow. These actions and steps inevitably lead to the final outcome. Choosing goals is essential to progress. A new goal represents a new challenge, which requires learning and growth. Fitness goals should be aligned with other life goals in order to create an action which is sustainable.

The goals chosen will differ for every individual for this reason its hard to put absolute values on where an individuals fitness should be. In many cases with health the middle ground is the best place to be. An inflexible person will face certain problems due to a loss of movement, whilst an over flexible person will face their own issues due to joint instability.

When referring to fitness and fitness goals we look at cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and flexibility and posture. Also included are tools for monitoring ideal body weight and girths along with healthy nutrition

Fitness Assessments and Fitness Tools

 

Cardiovascular Fitness Assessment

Cardiovascular Fitness is related to the bodies ability to utilize oxygen. Movement requires energy and that energy is created by the breakdown of fuels within the muscle cells. Sustained movement and energy breakdown requires oxygen, this is why when jogging, swimming or riding for prolonged periods you're rate of breathing increases. Aerobic fitness is important as the heart and blood vessels are developed as a result of aerobic exercise. Having a poor level of aerobic fitness is a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes. Aerobic exercise is also an effective tool for body weight maintenance. A distance runner has a high aerobic fitness level due to the style of training they perform. This high aerobic fitness allows them to perform exercise for sustained periods when others would experience fatigue. Click for more information on the importance of aerobic fitness

Cardiovascular or Aerobic Fitness tests

- 2.4km Run, beep test or 20m shuttle run, Running Pace Analysis/Predictor, Repeat 400's

 

Muscle Strength Assessment

Muscles enable your body to move. Think of your muscles like ropes attached to door handles. If the rope is pulled or shortened the door will open. Our muscles are like the ropes, whilst the door handle is like our tendons and the door our bones. When our muscle contracts the muscle pulls on the tendon which is attached to the bone resulting in movement.

Lack of movement causes muscle tissue to atrophy (become smaller). Challenging muscle tissue with strength training activities causes the muscle tissue to enlarge or hypertrophy. This is the basis of strength training. Its important to have muscles that are strong enough to allow movement. As a person ages muscle tissue tends to decline in a process called sarcopenia. Strength training is in important part of any fitness routine particularly later in life.

Muscle strength is developed from any form of resistance exercise. This could be walking, lifting shopping or playing sport. Strength progression requires a continued stimulus and the higher the exercise intensity generally the greater the strength gains. Weight training involving lifting weight against gravity is the most common method of strength training. Body weight exercise and resistance bands thought can be effectively used to develop strength.

Finding a balance between strength, flexibility and aerobic fitness is important to overall health

Strength Fitness Tests-

Max Repetition Tests, Body Weight Tests

 

Opportunity Fitness Mixed Assessments

A series of Assessments or workouts has been designed to measure both elements of strength and endurance. These workouts can be used to help monitor your fitness improvements. Fitness scores are provided for some of the workouts to help assess what level of workouts best suits your current fitness level

Mixed Fitness Assessments

Burpee Challenge, Leg Enduro, Wholebody 25's, Raw Outdoor

 

Flexibility and Posture

Correct posture will differ for everyone based on there body type. An animal that has evolved or been designed to run on four legs, moves differently to a human who walks on two legs. In the same way differences between each individual also exist.

Posture is constantly changing as a result of the position the body is routinely placed in. Soft tissue such as muscle and connective tissue, are fluid and can adjust length over short periods of time. Muscles shorten when placed in shortened positions and lengthen if placed in lengthened positions. Bones on the other hand, are slower to adapt with slower changes occurring after development. In order for to protect against injury, muscles need to function similarly to the previous movements humans performed, otherwise less adaptive structures such as bones and nerve tissue will become damaged. This will result in pain and hindered movement. Guidelines can be given based on the best posture for injury prevention, although a certain amount of variation will exist from person to person.

Posture and Flexibility Assessments

Visual Assessment see article on Posture

 

Body Weight and Girths (Anthropometry) Assessments

An individuals Body Weight is made up of several non modifiable components such as bone, skin, organs and blood along with the easily modifiable components of fat and muscle tissue. Both Fat and muscle content can make up significantly different proportions in each individual. Fat content could effectively vary anywhere from 3%-%70 depending on the level of fat storage. Excess fat storage is detrimental to an individuals health as increases the risk of developing disease such as diabetes and heart disease. Equally detrimental to health is a body fat percentage that is to low. This can result in weakness, irritability, psychological problems and heart conditions. In order for the body to function correctly men require 3-5% body fat whilst women require 10-16%. Recommendations for body fat levels are around 4% above minimum values with a 10-15% range. Mens recommendations are between 8-20% and womens between 18-35%

Measuring Body Fat

Body Fat can be measured visually, this though is subjective and in some cases more accurate measures are required

BMI or Body Mass Index is a measure of body density. BMI is slightly more accurate for women and can identify overweight individuals due to the smaller variance in muscle mass. For men the Waist circumference is a slightly more accurate measure. Both BMI and Waist girth measures have limitations but both are easy measurements that can be self performed

Skin Callipers provide a more accurate measure but exclude central or deep body fat stores creating limitations

DEXA scanning provides a very accurate measure of body fat and if direct values are needed this method is recommended

Its important to recognizing everyones body fat distribution is different and that muscle mass also differs in each individual for this reason no one method works best

Tools for measuring body fat

BMI, Waist Girth, Dexa Scan, Skin Callipers, Visually

 

Nutrition and Weight Loss

Nutritional guidelines aim to ensure individuals receive the best nutrition for optimal body functioning. Some area's addressed by guidelines include vitamin and mineral, fibre, protein, carbohydrate, antioxidant and fat consumption. Not all individuals though are the same and therefore directly adhering to any advice is not for everyone and variences will exist from person to person. Healthy nutrition entails eating a balanced diet including a range of foods groups. This ensures an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals, proteins and carbohydrates. Its important to also ensure your energy intake is equal to your energy expenditure. Differences will result in changes in body weight.

Tools for assessing Nutritional Intake

Food Pyramid, Nutritional Survey, Daily Energy Requirement Calculator, Energy Balance Calculator, Food For Fat Loss Calculator

Personal Training Locations -

Coogee, Maroubra, Rushcutter's Bay, Queens Park, Centennial Park, Bronte 

Phone: 0401 396 722 

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