What is Fitness Age?
Fitness age is the average number of years it takes someone to reach their physical peak physically and mentally. This is usually measured from birth until death. However, there are other ways to measure your fitness level such as body fat percentage or muscle mass. The best way to determine your fitness level is by measuring your heart rate variability (HRV) which measures how much variation in heart rate you have over time. HRV is a good indicator of overall health since it indicates if you’re healthy or not. If your HRV is low then you may have problems with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, sleep apnea and many others.
How to Calculate Your Fitness Age (Though Your True Age Is An Attitude)?
There are several methods to calculate your fitness age (though your true age is an attitude). You can use the following methods:
1. Body Fat Percentage Method
2. Muscle Mass Measurement Method
3. Heart Rate Variability Test Method
1. Body Fat Percentage Method:
The first method involves using a caliper to measure your body fat percentage and then dividing that number by your weight in kilograms (kg). For example, if you weigh 100 kg and have a body fat percentage of 15%, then your body fat percentage would be .15 x 100 = 0.15.
This number is then subtracted from 100 to get your fitness age, in this case it would be 100 – 0.15 = 99.8. The lower your body fat percentage the lower your fitness age will be since it is an indication that you are at a low risk for developing obesity-related diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes and have a low inflammation level.
2. Muscle Mass Measurement Method:
The second method involves using a handheld muscle mass measuring device to measure your muscle mass, which can then be plugged into an equation which calculates your fitness age. These devices can measure the amount of skeletal muscle you have in your body. More specifically, it measures the amount of water contained within your muscle tissue, since the more water your muscles contain, the stronger and larger they are. As with the first method, a lower number is better.
3. Heart Rate Variability Test:
The third method involves measuring your heart rate variability (HRV) with a heart rate variability monitor. Your heart rate variability represents the variation in time between each of your heartbeats. It is believed that the higher your HRV number is, the healthier you are and the longer you are likely to live. To measure your HRV number, you simply put on a heart rate variability monitor which sends small electric pulses through your body.
These pulses get sent through your finger and the monitor records the time between each pulse, from which it can calculate your HRV number. The higher your HRV number the better, since this is an indication that your body is very healthy and able to adapt efficiently to stress. The three methods are summed up in the image below:
The three methods are summed up in the image below:
As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to each method. For example, the body fat percentage method suffers from the disadvantage of being the most time-consuming since you need to measure your body fat percentage which requires either expensive or inconvenient trips to a specialist. On the other hand, this method is perhaps the most accurate since it involves measuring your body fat directly. In addition, the HRV measurement method is far more convenient than the other two methods since all you have to do is strap a device to your chest and it takes only a few minutes.
On the other hand, it could be potentially inaccurate due to the fact that it measures your resting heart rate as well.
Sources & references used in this article:
Subjective age bias: A motivational and information processing approach by U Teuscher – International Journal of Behavioral …, 2009 – journals.sagepub.com
How old are you?: Age consciousness in American culture by HP Chudacoff – 1992 – books.google.com
A structural equation model of residents’ attitudes for tourism development by DW Ko, WP Stewart – Tourism management, 2002 – Elsevier
Assessing Dietary Intake, Eating and Exercise Attitudes and Fitness Levels in College-Aged Students by KJ James – 2010 – digitalcommons.unl.edu