Free Fitness Assessments at Upper Valley Aquatic Center

Free Fitness Assessments at Upper Valley Aquatic Center

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?  Susan Van Abs, a personal trainer and wellness coach at UVAC patiently explained the process to me because I was clueless.

In short, a fitness assessment is 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 balance on one foot, squat, do push-ups,3 minutes of step ups, and bend my knees and press my back against the wall. She measured my active and resting pulse and blood pressure.

An important thing to keep in mind— the assessment isn’t a competition. You’re not being ranked against anyone else. An assessment merely collects your personal data-points. If you can’t do a push-up—not a problem. It is just one of 17 data-points that are eventually collected.

That sums up the exercise part of the assessment. The other portion is really easy. You stand on a Tanita Scale. It looks like a bathroom scale but, as Susan explained to me, it does much more than weigh. The machine calculates one’s weight, visceral fat, bone mass, muscle mass and percentage of body fat.

After administrating the physical tests and taking measurements Susan patiently (and clearly) explained to me how all the different numbers added up to a snapshot of my fitness on that day. From there I could fine-tune my work-outs to meet my goals.

Except I didn’t have any goals.

Susan, once again, was really helpful.

A fitness assessment is all about the numbers. Susan interpreted my numbers as steps towards a logical and realistic fitness-goal personalized for me. A good starting place, she suggested, was to drop a little visceral fat and add muscle mass. She suggested I work with a personal trainer who could 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.

To sign up for the assessment, please visit the Welcome Desk to fill out the Fitness Inquiry Form. A trainer will contact you to set up your appointment.

By Lee Michaels, UVAC Member