Remember that sit-and-reach test from grade school? Or the timed mile? All kinds of dread! But you don’t have to relive your childhood PE class to get a read on your current state of fitness. Our quick (and far more accurate) assessments will show you where you’re truly at now—and how to take your body to the next level.
Being able to tally double-digit miles in an afternoon is impressive, but how long you can huff and puff isn’t actually the ultimate test of aerobic fitness. What is? Your aerobic capacity, or how efficiently your body uses oxygen. Also known as VO2 max, it’s directly linked to superior heart health, exercise recovery, and overall fitness potential, says Pamela Geisel, a certified strength and conditioning specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery Tisch Sports Performance Center in New York City. Traditional VO2 max tests are done on a treadmill and are notoriously intense (if you’re not a runner, you’ll likely fail), but a 2016 study found that the average person can use a simple bench test to get a picture of how well their heart recovers following aerobic exercise.
Excerpted from womenshealthmag.com