Nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all gotten used to working out at home. We have figured out our workout areas and the best time for exercise. Is it working for you? Are you getting more fit?

Tracking your fitness level is more important now that home workouts are a mainstay. Assessing your fitness level can show if you are moving in the right direction with your home workouts or if you need to retool. You do not have ready access to the equipment and space you do at the fitness center or athletic club. First though, your workouts need to be consistent. It can be challenging to get more fit if you are not working out enough.

Use basic exercises to test your fitness and see if you are improving. It is easy to do and easy to track. It can tell you if you are heading in the right direction.

Push-ups: How many push-ups can you do? Push-ups are one of the first exercises we all learned. See how many push-ups you can do and set this number as your baseline. If you can do 10 pushups today, that is your baseline. Test yourself again in a month. If you do 11 push-ups, then you are improving. You can do a modified push-up on your knees if you need to.

Plank: How long can you hold a plank with good form before your form fails? Planks are a great exercise for determining overall core strength.  Use a modified push-up position with your forearms resting on the floor and your elbows bent at 90 degrees. Your elbows are directly beneath your shoulders. Your weight is supported on your elbows and toes. Your hips are in line with your body. Your butt isn’t higher or lower. Use a watch to time yourself.  If your hips rise or sag or you drop to one knee your time is up. Record your baseline time and test yourself again in a month.

Wall Sit: The wall sit will test your lower body strength. Lean your back against a wall. Slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel with the floor. You will look like you are sitting in an invisible chair. Hold the position if you can while timing yourself. Record your baseline.

Resting Heart Rate: Your resting heart rate is a good indicator of your cardiovascular fitness. Athletes can have resting heart rates as low as 40 beats a minute. A heart rate of 80 to 100 is high but within an acceptable range. Take your heart rate in the morning. Place to fingers on your neck below the jawline. Find the carotid artery in your neck.  You will feel your heartbeat. Count the number of beats for one minute. Record your total.

Test Yourself Monthly: Try testing yourself monthly to see if your home workouts are going in the right direction. Use the baselines you’ve recorded and test yourself after the first month. See if you are improving or declining. If you are declining, modify your exercise for better results.