How Fit Are You?

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Step Up To The Challenge

By John Dorsey

If you came of age in the U.S. during the past 40 years, there's a good chance that you have memories (fond or otherwise) of the President's Challenge fitness test. Remember? If you successfully performed five physical activities -- from pull-ups to shuttle runs -- you received a certificate signed by the president, officially declaring your physical fitness.

But as adults, it's not always as easy to know where we rank on the fitness scale or how we compare to others our age. Sure, we try to make it to the gym on a regular basis. We lift some weights and ride the elliptical to work up a sweat. But really, how fit are we?

Sell-assessment fitness tests are one way to find out.

"The important thing to realize about self-assessment is that, first and foremost, it's a great way to measure your progress," says Craig Friedman, performance innovation team director at Athletes' Performance in Phoenix. "Use it to set a benchmark against yourself."

Welcome back to the President's Challenge.

The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports has an adult version of the challenge we took as kids. Focusing on four components of fitness -- endurance, strength, flexibility and body composition -- these simple tests can provide a snapshot of your current fitness level and shed light on the areas that need attention.

Are you up for the challenge?