What’s your fitness age?
How old are you? Before you all-knowingly blurt out two numbers, you know the number of times you’ve celebrated your birthday, know that you have another, even more, important age: your Fitness Age.
We know it might be a little bit confusing: What Fitness Age? Does my body, health, and physical fitness age differently? Yes. It’s quite different, but it says a lot about your life expectancy at that.
Everybody has their chronological age—the more familiar one, dictated by the days, months and years on the calendar. Many of us did not know of the biological age—or the fitness age, which is ‘age’ and state of your body’s systems, cells, and parts.
Your biological age is not fixed. Rather, it’s influenced daily by the lifestyle choices you make, including exercise, diet, stress, sleep, and more. Simply put, you can be 30 years old, but because of your poor lifestyle choices, your fitness age can be 50, or even 60. You may actually be younger or older than your chronological age suggests.
Your fitness age is part of what makes up your biological age – and it’s said to be a better indicator of longevity than chronological age.
The “fitness-age calculator” determines your fitness age based on how physically fit you are, disregarding your age. This was developed by researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 2013 to fully have a grasp on how to live more fully and encourage people to take care of their body more.
Your distinct fitness age takes your respiratory health into account and is made up of different components including your heart rate, waist circumference, exercise routine, and more.
Calculating your fitness age:
Through their website, calculating your fitness age will require your gender, height, weight, waist circumference, resting heart rate and how frequently they exercise.
Using these information and the researchers’ guide computation table, your Fitness Age is calculated by the VO2max, a measure of how much oxygen the body is able to take in.
Measured in milliliters of O2 per kilogram of body weight per minute, the researchers say it is ‘the most precise measure of overall cardiovascular fitness’. A person’s VO2max reveals how well the muscle cells can take in oxygen, and how well the lungs and heart can transport oxygen to tissues.
While it is completely normal that your fitness score declines as you grow older, it is mainly influenced by how often a person carries out physical activity. The more often, the more oxygen the body is able to take in, and the fitter the person is.
What can your fitness age tell you about your health?
Knowing your fitness age can send the alarm: should you make changes and strive to live a healthier life as early as now? By knowing your fitness age, it can never be too late.
It can be used to compare your fitness with that of other people of the same age, knowing if you are right on track. But you shouldn’t use it in justifying your bad lifestyle and diet choices. Knowing other people’s fitness age can also serve as an inspiration for you: A 50-year-old man conceivably could have a fitness age between 30 and 75!
By being aware of how your body really ages, you can know how to respond: should you be healthier? Can you relax with the thought that your insides are alright?
In the end, the computation of the Fitness Age aims nothing but to create more awareness and shaken other people’s complacency that they are healthy as long as they have fewer to no trips to the hospital, or as long as there are no visible signs of health decline. Knowing your Fitness Age is just a matter of checking up on yourself and knowing how to respond and act on it accordingly.