Assessments an essential part of any fitness program

by Christopher B. Robrahn
Fitness Columnist

There are many reasons people decide to get into exercise and fitness. For some, an active lifestyle started early with interest and dedication to sports and exercise when in school. For others, it was an investment in fitness to look and feel better and to be more active.

Finally, some who may or may not have been active, take it up to solve a health problem.   

Whatever your reason, it is imperative that you have a basis to improve. Too many people simply go through the motions. Regular health assessments are important to realize improvement. You can see and understand the positive impact of your exercise.

Assessments (or testing) should be a part of the process when you first start an exercise program. It needn’t be expensive. Trainers can do simple assessments can measure things like height, weight, body composition, blood pressure, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance and flexibility.   

You may have medical conditions that need to be factored in as well. The bottom line, a baseline should be created from which to work, a personal baseline with an understanding of your personal health situation and a way to formulate goals and strategies.

As you move through your fitness program, these tests should be repeated on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. Much depends on your goals and health conditions.

Family health history is an important risk factor for developing several serious diseases, including type 2 diabetes. In fact, most people with type 2 diabetes have a family member - such as a mother, father, brother, or sister - with the disease. 

With a history of diabetes on my father’s side of my family, I’m always pleased to see how my fitness positively affects these tests. I have excellent blood pressure, and the effects of my fitness lifestyle have paid dividends in ways I never anticipated. 

The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) encourages all families to take advantage of family gatherings to share information about their health history - especially when it comes to diabetes.

Knowing your family health history is important because it gives you and your health care team information about your risk for type 2 diabetes and other health problems.

One of the largest encouragements we all have is to see our time in the gym is our investment paying off. It creates enthusiasm and momentum for success.

Even if you are someone who simply goes to the gym to stay in reasonable shape, you need to know where you are. Testing can be very inexpensive. Ask a trainer about it, don’t overlook this important part of a successful fitness plan.

Copyright The Gayly – May 20, 2018 @ 8:10 a.m. CDT.