Norwegian Scientists show that your “fitness age” has a direct correlation to your longevity. What is your fitness age?
At the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, professor Ulrik Wisloff and his colleagues have developed a way to figure your “fitness age.” It has to do with your VO2max, waist circumference, heart rate, exercise habits and a few other lifestyle choices. How is this relevant to us? Well, Wisloff and his colleagues also figured out that the higher your VO2max and the lower your fitness age, the longer you will live. See the study here. And, as it turns out this so-called fitness age, which is heavily dependent on your cardiovascular endurance, could be a better predictor of longevity than traditional signs such as obesity, cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and smoking.
There was a different study done in Norway back in the early 80’s with 55,000 people. The participants answered questionnaires about their health and lifestyle. Based on these answers, Wisloff came up with an approximate VO2max for the people, then figured out when or if they died. Your VO2max is your body’s ability to absorb and process oxygen or the maximum about of oxygen your body can take in and utilize. Based on this information, he learned that if your fitness age was higher than your chronological age that you had an increased chance of early death.
Scary, yes, I know. However, there is something you can do to change your fitness age. You guessed it, exercise! It’s nothing new to you and me, but I’m sure you know someone who may not be as fit as they could be. And so, it’s time to share the news. Share this calculator and let’s create a movement of movers! People who want to be healthy and stay fit as long as they’re alive. Of course, I took the test myself and after answer all the questions, it turns out I’m doing pretty well. I’m 44 years old, my expected VO2max is 46, yet mine is 57 according to the calculator. And my fitness age is under 20 years of age. Not bad for a 44 year old young buck. But you should know that I exercise most everyday and I do it pretty much “all out.” At least that’s what I chose as my answer on the calculator. My next step is to go have my VO2max tested on a real machine to see if that is accurate. I’ll report back to you.
As with any online fitness assessment, however, you should definitely take it with a grain of salt. My recommendation is that you use the calculator as a motivator or a validation that you’re on the right track. Some people like to avoid their financial situation or the problems in their relationships among other things in their life. This is a great way to make sure you’re not avoiding your fitness level. The take away from the study is that we now know, the more cardio you do, the better you eat, the less alcohol you drink and the more intense exercise you do, the longer you’re going to live! Now get out there and live!
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Photo Credit: flickr.com/Tuncay