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Assess your fexibility:
Sit-and-reach test
The sit-and-reach test is a simple way to
measure in general fashion the fexibility
of the backs of your legs, your hips and
your lower back. Here’s how:
Place a yardstick on the foor.
Secure it by placing a piece of tape
across the yardstick at the 15-inch
(38-centimeter) mark.
Place the soles of your feet even with
the mark on the yardstick.
Ask a helper to place his or her hands
on top of your knees to anchor them.
Reach forward as far as you can,
holding the position for two seconds.
Note the distance you reached.
Repeat the test two more times.
Record the best of the three reaches.
Estimate your body
composition: Waist
circumference and body
mass index
With a cloth measuring tape, measure
your waist circumference just above
the hipbones. Record your waist
circumference in inches or centimeters
in your notebook or journal.
Then determine your body mass index
(BMI) - an indicator of your percentage
of body fat - through a BMI table or
online calculator. If you’d rather do the
math yourself, divide your weight in
pounds by your height in inches squared
and multiply by 703. Or divide your
weight in kilograms by your height in
meters squared. (To determine your
height in meters, divide your height in
centimeters by 100). Record your BMI
with the rest of your scores in your
notebook or journal.
Monitor your progress
Now that you know your ftness level,
keep track of your progress. Take the
same measurements six weeks after
you begin your exercise program and
periodically afterward. Each time you
repeat your assessment, celebrate your
progress - and adjust your ftness goals
accordingly. Share your results with your
doctor or personal trainer for additional
guidance.
Assessing fexibility in the legs,
hips and lower back
Jan/Feb 2012
12