Adult children should check out the October 2013 New York Times Well Blog article, What’s Your Fitness Age? The piece by Gretchen Reynolds shares information about the concept of fitness age — it can differ significantly from an individual’s chronological age — and how researchers calculate the measurement for individuals.
Reynolds points out in the article that, while we cannot change our chronological age, we can do things that improve our fitness age. The research took place at a Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim with results published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (abstract), a journal published by the American College of Sports Medicine.
While scientists usually complete complex calculations with a treadmill and all sorts of connected sensors to figure out fitness age, Norwegian researchers have developed a fairly accurate way to compute fitness age using measurements that any one of us can take. In the process the scientists created an easy-to-use fitness age calculator.
My husband and I each used the calculator to figure out how we were doing fitness-wise. It was fun to see where we came out, and then develop some simple ideas to improve our exercise routines. Given the many day-to-day demands on adult children, this calculation can be an important tool for them and for their aging parents. Any of us, no matter what age, can make the calculations, share the results with a primary care physician, and take steps to improve our fitness age — and our health.