"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Now everyone rise up — how fit are you?

How fit are you actually? Fitness isn't all the time best measured by parameters like your weight, your ability to run a 5K, or whether you possibly can do 10 push-ups. Instead, a test of fitness is how well you possibly can get up from a seated position.

Try this: Get up off the ground without using your hands.

Before starting: Remember that this test just isn't for everybody. For example, an individual with knee pain, arthritis, poor balance, or one other variety of limitation can have difficulty performing the test with little or no assistance.

Instructions: Sit on the ground together with your legs crossed or straight out. Now get up again. (This is probably not a straightforward move for many individuals, so do it with someone to be secure.)

how did you do Did it's essential to use your hands or knees? Couldn't you rise up in any respect?

Now, take the test again, only this time rate your effort. Starting with a rating of 10, subtract certainly one of the next points for support in case you each sit and stand:

  • Use your hand
  • Use your knee
  • Use your arm
  • Use one hand on the knee or thigh
  • Use the side of your leg
  • Lose your balance anytime.

For example, in case you are sitting with none problems, but should use your hands or knees to rise up, remove one point. Deduct 4 points (two points each) if you might have to make use of each your hands and knees.

If you possibly can sit and stand without assistance, you scored an ideal 10. If you possibly can't rise up in any respect, your rating is zero. Ideally, you wish a rating of eight or higher. (For the record, the primary time I attempted, I got seven.)

What the hands-free test tells us about fitness.

Performing the sit-and-stand test requires leg and core strength, balance and coordination, and adaptability. But in case you struggle, it doesn't necessarily mean you're out of form.

“Think of it as a way to highlight areas of your physical health that you should focus on,” says L'Italian. Even in case you currently do reasonably well on the test, practicing recurrently can find weak spots before they worsen.

Three Exercises That Can Improve Your Performance

If it's essential to improve your performance, L'Italien recommends three exercises that might help improve your rating—and ultimately your fitness. He recommends adding them to your regular exercise routine. If you're just starting out, do them twice every week and construct from there.

lungs The easy lunge helps with each leg strength and balance.

  • Stand together with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Keeping your abs tight and your back straight, step forward with one leg until your knee is over the front of your foot. The back knee should drop toward the ground.
  • Hold for just a few seconds and return each legs to the starting position. Repeat with the alternative leg.
  • Do five to 10 repetitions with each leg to make one set. Do two to 3 sets.

Edit: Stand against a wall for a helping hand if needed. For an added challenge, keep a small hand weight throughout the movement.

Hamstring stretch. Tight hamstrings contribute to poor flexibility in older adults.

  • Lie in your back and place a strap, belt or towel around one foot.
  • Holding the strap, gently pull the leg back until you are feeling a stretch at the back of the leg.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds after which release. Switch to the opposite leg and repeat.

The board It might help strengthen a weak core.

  • Lie face down together with your arms on the ground.
  • Lift your body up, so it forms a straight line out of your head and neck to your feet.
  • Tighten your abs and take a look at to carry this position for 10 seconds.
  • Rest after which repeat. Do two to 3 planks in total. Work as much as holding each plank for 30 seconds or more.

Edit: To make the exercise easier, do it while leaning against a counter or table at a 45-degree angle. You also can hold the plank from a full push-up position.