How To Find Your Fitness Age
There’s age, and there’s fitness age, the age at which your body functions compared to other bodies of all ages. Writing in the New York Times, Gretchen Reynolds tell us about the best way to find our fitness age, and it’s based on research conducted at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. Reynolds writes that researchers at the school evaluated about 5,000 Norwegians between the ages of 20 and 90, taking measurements such as height, body mass index, resting heart rate, HDL and total cholesterol levels. They gave everyone a lifestyle questionnaire, and they ran each person to the point of exhaustion on a treadmill to pinpoint his or her peak oxygen intake (VO2 max), or how well the body delivers oxygen to its cells. VO2 max has long been seen as a good indicator of fitness age. The researchers learned something interesting: If they put five measurements — waist circumference; resting heart rate; frequency and intensity of exercise; age; and sex — into an algorithm, they could accurately predict a person’s VO2 max. Reynolds reports that the researchers built an online calculator that allows people to determine their VO2 max without going to a lab. You’ll need a few measurements, and in many cases, a willingness to swallow some pride.