We all know that 60 is the new 40, but did you know that 40 can be more like 60 too?
ABC reports that, although we can’t change our chronological age (the number of years since birth), our biological age is something we can fix. Your biological age shows how healthy you are on the inside and this can often be vastly different to our actual age.
Professor Ulrik Wilsoff refers to our biological age as ‘fitness age’ because it can tell us a lot about the health of our body and fitness levels. It has been scientifically proven to offer a meaningful guide to how many years you have left to live, it may even be a stronger predictor than traditional risk factors like high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, being overweight or smoking. Of course, this is an estimate based on statistics and not set in stone.
Wilsoff has been in Australia for the last year, collaborating with researchers at the University of Queensland, and he says that working out your fitness age isn’t easy. In an interview with ABC he said, “It’s not just an algorithm that is for fun… It’s based on 60,000 people’s lives over 27 years. It’s for real and it’s so easy to use.
“Every GP or health professional all over the world can use it as a first line risk assessment without taking a blood sample or measuring blood pressure. You can do it at home.”
How does it work?
Wisloff’s team has developed a way to enter certain parameters, such as waist circumference, heart rate and exercise habits, into an algorithm that can indicate your fitness age. The new version of the calculator has some refinements and his team has studied accuracy on 60,000 people aged between 20 to 90.
How can I lower my fitness age?
Knowing your fitness age is the first step, the second part is knowing how to lower it and Wilsoff says simply exercising more can help. He and his team of researchers have created a regime that can help you lower your fitness age significantly, in as little as seven weeks.
Although you may think exercising two to three times a week is too physically intense for you, Wisloff insists that it is possible, “we have done this with people with heart failure” he says. Wisloff claims, “pretty much everyone” can do it, unless you have angina or a serious heart rhythm problems.