What’s Your Fitness Age?

Fitness Age: What is it, and what does your age say about you?

Fitness Age
Of course you are as old as you feel. Age is just a number. Walter Bortz, MD., a leading expert in the field of health and aging, offers a program for healthy living, and enjoying life to its fullest. In his must read, Dare to be 100: 99 Steps To a Long, Healthy Life, Bortz noted, “Until recently, fate had decreed that you wide die around age 70. Now, with the identity of elements that contribute and shape your whole life, you can track and control biomarkers. Matters of fate have become matters of choice…Dare to be 100.”

Are you ready to live to 100? Diet, attitude, renewal and exercise are the keys, at least according to the nation’s top gerontologist, Walter Bortz, MD. So what does your fitness age have to do with it? And just how can you calculate your fitness age? It can be a daunting task if you don’t have access to a team of exercise physiologists, medical specialists, and gerontologists.

Until now, that is. Look no further than researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim for a simple seven question, very low-tech, on-line, free assessment to give you powerful information and yes, your fitness age. You might want to thank the 5,000 Norwegians who went through a dozen different measurements, blood tests, completed a long questionnaire and ran on treadmills to the point of exhaustion so you can simply answer seven questions at the comfort of your own kitchen table.

Fitness age is defined as “how well your body functions physically, relatively to how well it should work, given your age.” The components of physical fitness are as follows:

• Cardiorespiratory (CR) endurance
• Muscular strength
• Muscular endurance
• Flexibility
• Body composition

Google “fitness age” and you’ll find a healthy number of sites that offer you the opportunity to take this assessment on-line, for free.

Here are the questions to find your estimated “Fitness Age”

1. Male/Female?
2. How often do you exercise?
3. How long is your workout each time?
4. How hard do you train?
5. How old are you?
6. What does your waistline measure in centimeters?
7. What is your resting pulse (in beats per minute)?
*To determine your resting pulse, sit quietly and calmly for 10 minutes. Check your pulse over a count of 30 seconds. Double that number and you have your resting heart rate.

Answer these seven questions accurately and you’ll be promptly supplied with your V02 Max and your estimated “Fitness Age.”

What’s VO2 Max? That’s your peak oxygen intake, or how well your body sends oxygen to your body’s cells. The better your VO2 Max, the greater your estimated life span, thus a good measure of fitness age. This holds for obese and elderly folks as well.

Building on this, Ulrik Wisloff, the director of the K. G. Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine at the Norwegian University and the senior author of the study that developed the fitness age calculator noted, “A 70-year-old man or woman who has the peak oxygen uptake of a 20-year-old has a fitness age of 20.”

A man who is 50 years old with a 36 inch waist and a resting pulse of 75, who exercises moderately a couple or few times a week, will have a resulting fitness age of 59. Increase the exercise and do it more intensely, then the waistline will reduce and that fitness age will decline. You can erase years with proper exercise.

A 40 year old woman who almost never exercises or does so less than once per week for less than 30 minutes taking it pretty easy with a waistline of 86 centimeters and a resting pulse of 80 beats per minute, has a fitness age of 54. Ouch!

A decline in performance naturally occurs with age however, for those who choose to stay physically active; the rate of decline is different than it is among those who don’t stay active. There is less of a decline in muscular endurance and strength, cardiorespiratory endurance, flexibility, agility, coordination and balance. A 40 year old who continues to exercise will demonstrate less of a decline in these functions than those who don’t exercise. A healthy 60 year old can have the same cardiorespiratory fitness as a sedentary 20 year old.

Exercise—it adds years to your life.

But what can you do if you want to improve your fitness age? Here are some basics to follow:
1. Consistent, frequent and regular exercise and activity
2. Progressions to include gradually increasing intensity and duration
3. Don’t overemphasize one area of the body or type of exercise over another
4. Vary the activities, routines, types of workouts and avoid boredom
5. Have specific goals at all times—even if it’s just “fun”
6. Not enough attention is paid to the issue of recovery so consider every other day exercise, or a light day followed by a more strenuous day

Take the fitness age test and let us know your fitness age. It’s nice to know you can “get younger” with every passing year.

Don’t forget to follow Total Gym Direct on Facebook and Twitter for great workouts ideas and healthy living ideas you can do!

Dr. Michael Mantell

Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has been providing psychological and coaching services for nearly 5 decades and continues to empower positive change among his global clients to enhance life in every way. He is a highly sought-after healthcare professional coach, an executive and team building consultant, and a longtime specialist in cognitive behavioral coaching.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. 68 years old bp 120/80 after medication . no sugar. Indian. feeling drained out after walking 2 kms. otherwise feels exhaustion after moderate physical labour. reason and recommended life style

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