There’s a new benefit to joining Upper Valley Aquatic Center (UVAC). Members can have their fitness assessed for free. (And if you are not a member, this is great incentive to join.)
So what is a fitness assessment? I actually had no idea when I signed up. But Susan Van Abs, a personal trainer and wellness coach at UVAC patiently explained the process — a series of exercise driven tests and measurements that provide snapshot metrics of your fitness level. This knowledge, in turn, can inform changes to your training.
The assessment itself takes about an hour. It measures strength, balance, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. Susan had me do a series of light exercises:
*Balance on one foot
*3 minutes of step ups
* Back press against the wall with great knees.
The assessment isn’t a competition. There’s no pressure. If you can’t do a push-up, you can skip that portion of the assessment. You only do what you think you are capable of. That sums up the exercise portion of the assessment.
The second half requires you to stand still.
Susan had me stand on an electronic gizmo called a Tanita Scale. It looks like a bathroom scale but it does much more. The machine calculates one’s weight, visceral fat, bone mass, muscle mass and percentage of body fat.
At the end of the session Susan she patiently and clearly explained to me how all the different numbers added up to a snapshot of my fitness on that day. That baseline can then be compared a month or two into the future another assessment to see if one is making progress towards one’s goals.
But what should those goals be? Susan, once again was really helpful because I had no goal in mind.
A fitness assessment is all about the numbers. Susan interpreted my numbers as steps towards a logical and realistic fitness goal. A good starting place for me was to drop a little visceral fat and add muscle mass. She suggested I work with a UVAC personal trainer who can help me incorporate free weights into my regular work-out. Then in a month, or two or three I can come back if I want for another assessment and chart my progress.
Sounds like a plan.
To sign up for the assessment, please visit the UVAC Welcome Desk and fill out the Fitness Inquiry Form. A trainer will contact you to set up your appointment.
By Lee Michaelides, UVAC member, volunteer and huge fan of Deep Water Volleyball