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Why do you exercise? Whether you want to increase your energy, reduce your health risks, or lose some unwanted pounds, do you ever wonder if all that working out is working for you? That's where fitness assessments come in, and they can be great motivational tools to help you reach your goals.

Measuring your fitness level regularly is one way to find out if you're making progress. Most fitness centers have trained staff who can evaluate your body composition, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance, but it can be pricey. If you don't have access to all the toys and tools of your gym, don't panic. You have everything you need to measure your fitness level in your own house!

Start with the simple assessments below, whether you plan to start an exercise program tomorrow or you've been at it for a while.

The Pushup Test (measures muscular strength and endurance)

The Crunch Test (measures abdominal strength and endurance)

The 3-Minute Step Test (measures aerobic fitness)

The 1-Mile Walk Test (measures aerobic fitness)

These tests are great tools to see how you are doing. When you're done testing, you can track your scores on SparkPeople to keep track of your progress! If you don't score as well as you like, just remember to focus on improving your own scores periodically. As long as you are improving, your fitness plan is working. If you find you aren't making the progress that you feel you should be seeing, it may be time to change your workout routine.

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Even if you love your job, it may be killing you.

Australian researchers found that men sitting at their desks more than six hours a day are nearly twice as likely to be overweight than those who sit for less than 45 minutes a day. While women fared slightly better—spending on average 20 more minutes on their feet at the office than men—researchers conclude that a sedentary job is a major health concern for both genders.

And it's no secret that sedentary jobs (and lifestyles) have contributed dramatically to the accelerating obesity rate of the past 20 years. Put emphasis on the word 'dramatically'—a study conducted by the University of Chicago in 2001 found that a worker in a sedentary career may end up with a Body Mass Index 3.3 units higher than someone in a highly active job. If you're 5'5" this can mean an increase in weight from 140 pounds to 155 pounds!

Now that you've heard the bad news, let's turn to the good news...

Read more: How to Avoid On-the-Job Weight Gain

Going out to eat can be fun, easy and a wonderful way to celebrate an achievement or catch up with friends. But do you find yourself getting anxious just thinking about dining out knowing how many dishes are loaded with calories? Although your woes are well-founded (some restaurants cram as many as 1,800 calories into one entrée), there are ways to beat the system!

Take a step back from ordering what "sounds good" and make a smart (and still delicious!) choice when dining out. Use these tips to help you choose something that is tasty, nutritious and comes in at a more appropriate calorie level.

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You waited all year for summer to arrive, dreaming of all the activities you could do if only the weather was nice. But now that warm weather has arrived, the extreme heat and humidity can make it difficult to spend any time outdoors—let alone exercise. While exercising in the heat is generally safe for most people, taking a few extra precautions will help you stay cool and prevent problems associated with the heat.

Danger Signs to Watch For

Normally, your body cools off as sweat evaporates from your skin. But when heat and humidity rise, that sweat can't evaporate as quickly. The combination of hot weather, high body temperature and exercise can be dangerous and even deadly.

Heat exhaustion can occur when your body gets too hot, resulting in physical symptoms like weakness, muscle cramps, dehydration, dizziness, confusion, rapid heart rate and headache. Staying hydrated and getting out of the heat can help prevent and treat heat exhaustion. If left untreated, heat illness can worsen, causing symptoms like confusion, unconsciousness, vomiting, troubling breathing, and skin that feels hot and dry (a sign that the body isn't sweating). These are signs of heat stroke, which is deadly and requires immediate medical attention.

But you don't have to give up exercise just because it's hot outside. These 13 tips will help you beat the heat.

Read more: 13 Ways to Cool Down Your Summer Workout

Faster than a speeding bullet...

More powerful than a locomotive...

Nutrient-packed with health enhancing properties...

Here come the SUPER FOODS!

These foods benefit your body in so many ways. They power your brain, and correctly and efficiently fuel your body. Super foods fight infection, enhance your immune system, and protect against diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and respiratory infections.

Read more: Over 100 Super Foods for a Super You

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