How fit are you really? Not how fit you were five years ago or when you were playing high school sports. Let's get real here. More specifically, what is your fitness age?
Your fitness age closely equates to your cardiovascular age and as a result, it may be more important to your overall health than your chronological age. Which is actually a great thing because unlike your chronological age, according to a recent study, you can change your fitness age.
The new study on fitness and lifespan shows that your overall fitness age can be determined by your cardiovascular endurance, which in turn, impacts your longevity, not to mention quality of life.
According to The New York Times:
Fitness age is determined primarily by your VO2max, which is a measure of your body’s ability to take in and utilize oxygen. VO2max indicates your current cardiovascular endurance.
To determine your fitness age, your endurance is compared to people within your age group to find out if you have more or less endurance. The higher the endurance, the lower the age. Norwegian researchers found that VO2max is your body’s ability to take in and use oxygen. In a later study, researchers found that the better your fitness age, the longer your longevity. The study followed data from 5,000 Norwegians between the ages of 20 and 90 who had their fitness age determined by a questionnaire.
Again, The New York Times:
It turned out that people whose calculated VO2max was 15 percent or more below average for their age— meaning that their fitness age was significantly above their chronological years — had an 82 percent higher risk of dying prematurely than those whose fitness age was the same as or more youthful than their actual age. According to the study’s authors, the results suggest that fitness age may predict a person’s risk of early death better than some traditional risk factors like being overweight, having high cholesterol levels or blood pressure, and smoking.
You can figure out your fitness age here. It’s just a few simple questions and if your age isn’t what you want it to be, you don’t need a magic pill or a fountain of youth to turn back the clock. In fact, all you need to do is exercise as much as you can. If you’re not a fan of exercise, hide it in an activity that you love to do whether it’s team sports, dance, vigorous yoga, or whatever else gets you moving. I’m a big fan of running three times a week just to get my heart rate going. While I love yoga and meditation, the cardiovascular benefits of hitting the pavement just can’t be matched. Plus it’s simple, inexpensive, and all you need is a good pair of running shoes and a few hours per week.
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