Quality fitness facilities have long recognized that fitness assessments are an essential service to members. Most student recreation centers take this’ best practice ‘approach along with a more holistic understanding of their students’ need to be healthy and physically fit in order to be successful and enjoy their life experience. on the campus.
It all starts with how you introduce students to the opportunity to learn more about their level of fitness. The language you use is very important. For starters, many students don’t feel particularly comfortable with their fitness and body image. This can be a major hurdle to overcome. So avoiding the word “test,” as in fitness testing, is a good strategy. Students are very aware that they can âfailâ a test and this negative can be overcome by using more neutral descriptions such as: assessment, rating or fitness profile.
Next, your assessment should be comprehensive enough to provide your students with a comprehensive overview of their fitness level, including: blood pressure, resting heart rate, height / weight, body composition, aerobic capacity (estimated VO2), flexibility and strength measurements. The results should be expressed in a concise, easy-to-understand report with practical “science-based” recommendations to improve or maintain their current level of fitness.
It goes without saying that your fitness assessments should be performed by a qualified person. Fortunately, most colleges have their own academic departments (kinesiology, exercise and athletic science, etc.) that can train your staff and / or provide well-trained students or interns to help provide these services. These people will also gain âhands-onâ practical experience to prepare them for future employment.
It is important, however, that these enthusiastic academically trained fitness counselors simplify their explanations because, at the end of the day, students really want to know how they stack up against their peers, but they don’t want a complicated physiology class or feel. ashamed by an overzealous fitness critic. It’s always a good idea to start by discussing their Fitness Profile report based on their strengths, and then discuss one or two areas where the student can improve.
Ultimately, Setting positive and realistic goals is important when reviewing the fitness profile report. From this process, an exercise program can be discussed that will fit into the student’s schedule and help them achieve their short-term goals. This action plan should also include the option to reschedule a follow-up assessment within 60 to 90 days. By then, the student will most likely see progress and this successful experience will help them stay motivated and more willing to promote your student recreation center with other friends.
??Rob Rideout is Vice President of Sales for MicroFit, a leading manufacturer of wellness and fitness assessment software and testing devices. You can reach Rideout at [email protected] or 800.822.0405.