Discovery Vitality launches the Vitality Elite Fitness Assessment

Discovery Vitality has launched the Vitality Elite Fitness Assessment in partnership with the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA). This assessment is aimed at athletes who regularly take part in sporting activities to measure their body’s current peak capacity.

The assessment will be available countrywide at selected universities and high performance centres to all Vitality members who meet the criteria.

The participating universities and high performance centres are: the Sports Science Institute of South Africa in Cape Town, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, the University of Pretoria, the University of Johannesburg, the University of Stellenbosch and the Prime High Performance Institute in Durban.

“We are very excited about this new assessment for our members who engage in high performance sporting activities as it will help them to understand where they are at and how they can reach optimum performance,” says Dr Craig Nossel, Head of Vitality Wellness.

The assessment includes body measurements, evaluation of mobility and stability, and a VO2max test.  VO2max is the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during exercise and can be used as a measurement of your level of fitness.  The evaluation of mobility and stability includes seven movements that grade your overall functional movement ability, flexibility and stability.

Nossel says, “Discovery is increasingly becoming involved in supporting elite sporting events and it is only natural that we created a fitness assessment specifically designed for elite sportsmen and women that focuses on helping them to train better while still leading a healthy, fit, and active lifestyle.”

The Vitality Fitness Assessment is still a valuable fitness assessment and is based largely around cardiovascular risk and health.  This assessment is still available for all Vitality members to get a base understanding of their fitness. With the Vitality Elite Fitness Assessment, we aim to give more sports-specific and tailored advice, thereby adding value for members who are serious about their sporting performance. SSISA designed the tests specifically to ensure that they follow best practice and are scientifically validated.

Discovery Vitality members need to meet pre-determined criteria, which can be viewed on the Discovery website, before undergoing the Vitality Elite Fitness Assessment. The assessment costs R1 500 and Vitality members who are Discovery Health Medical Scheme members can claim this back from their Medical Savings Account or Above Threshold Benefit should they have funds available. All members earn 10 000 Vitality points for doing the assessment. They earn 2 500 Vitality fitness points and 7 500 bonus fitness points, regardless of their individual results.

Members can earn Vitality points for a combination of fitness assessments. They can do two assessments a year, at least five months apart. They can do two Vitality Fitness Assessments, two Vitality Elite Fitness Assessments or one Vitality Fitness Assessment and one Vitality Elite Fitness Assessment (five months apart in the same year).

Morné du Plessis, co-founder of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa says, “We are proud to be associated with Discovery Vitality and partner with them on the Vitality Elite Fitness Assessment programme. We believe this assessment will provide sportspeople with invaluable advice and guidelines on how to improve their training and performance safely and more efficiently while still looking after their health and wellbeing.”

“I think it’s important for any athlete; endurance athlete, tri-athlete, runner or cyclist to have these tests done because it gives a nice snapshot of their fitness levels, their physiological status at the moment and they can therefore monitor their performance and endurance capacity,” says Biokineticist and Endurance Coach Richard Woolrich.