People who engage in an ongoing exercise program often want to observe improvement in their performance. If aerobic fitness, weight control, and other positive outcomes of exercise are to be [meaningful] for such individuals, goals must be established and evaluated at some later date. How does one know, for example, if the objective to lose body fat is being met? Persons who feel they can reward themselves for exercising with additional food intake (e.g., an extra dessert or snack) may be storing those [extra] calories. A test that measures percent body fat would be beneficial to determine whether or not the energy balance of calories [in] versus calories [out] has resulted in a loss of fat. Is cardiovascular fitness being enhanced by all of that [huffing and puffing]? The Three-Minute Step Test, which examine one's ability to recover from aerobic work, will tell. Are you taking a [quality] exercise class? Assess yourself (or have an instructor do it) and record your results. Other charts are included in this section which help monitor one's physical activities and motivate exercisers to [stay with it.]
To calculate percent body fat using skinfold measurements (Figure 1), follow the procedures below.