It’s a question we’d both love and hate to see answered: how many years do I have left?
We have good news: no matter how many candles are on your birthday cake, your overall wellness and life expectancy isn’t just tied to your chronological age. It’s all about your fitness age: the health of your body’s tissues.
And this age, unlike its traditional counterpart, can actually be reversed.
You may be a 65-year-old with the insides (and life expectancy) of a 30, 40 or 80-year-old, according to the ABC.
Curious about how old you are? You can find out in a matter of minutes thanks to a new online calculator, developed by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
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This fitness age calculator – one of the most reliable and well-researched yet – asks for your your basic information (including age, gender, pulse rate, body measurements and fitness habits), then compares it to the average of people the same age. If you are considered more fit than the average for your age, you will get a “younger” fitness age than your chronological age; if you are less fit, you may find yourself “older”.
Click here to calculate your fitness age
Please note: you will need to know your waistline measurements and resting pulse rate. (Don’t have access to that data right now? The Queensland Government offers a fun – if far more approximate – alternative calculator, based on earlier research, to give you a good broad idea.)
Professor Ulrik Wisloff, who headed the study, says this estimate can be a very meaningful way to understand your life expectancy – even more so than blood pressure, smoking, cholesterol, and other traditionally-included factors.
Want to reduce your fitness age? Wisloff suggests that exercise 2-3 times a week, including bursts of higher-intensity activities, is enough to begin winding back your personal clock. For those concerned about the health risks of high-intensity exercise, the ABC has shared an excellent guide on where to begin.
Take one of the above quizzes, and let us know: how old are you really?