What is Your Fitness Age?

How Old are You (in FITness years)?


September 13, 2015 –

HowOldAreYouHealthy living is a ‘mainstream’ trend today. The public is growing more concerned with nutrition and exercise, unfortunately two thirds of Americans are still overweight or obese! This is partly because being healthy is hard, and sometimes inconvenient and expensive.

A concept developed by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim who studied data showing that at any given age, fit people were relatively younger than were people who were out of shape. Not totally surprising! They then set up a simple online calculator that people could use to determine their fitness age.

To see just how their lifestyle affects their biological age, Dr. Ulrik Wisloff asked all of this year’s Senior Olympic qualifiers to complete the online calculator. They set up a special, dedicated site for the participants, so that their data could be isolated. (The fitness calculator itself was unchanged.) The results were impressive. While the athletes’ average chronological age was 68, their average fitness age was 43, a remarkable 25 years less. (My FITness age is 34, my wifes 37.)

Okay, so why should you even care about the number that pops up on your screen? Because it may predict how long you’ll live, the researchers found, to an even better extent than your actual age can. The lower your fitness age is from your actual age, the higher your chances of living a long life. Plus, if you’re not getting the number you want when you plug in your stats, up your exercise—your fitness age can decrease over time.

In a NY Times article about Senior Olympians, it was noted that “A majority of the athletes at the Senior Games didn’t begin serious training until quite late in life”, including author Gretchen Reynolds. “We may have been athletes in high school or college. But then, for most of us, jobs and families and other commitments got in the way, at least for a while.” Few Senior Olympians returned to or began exercising and training regularly until they were middle-aged or older, she said.

One of the most important messages to take away from all of this research is this … you can start any time, it’s never too late! Remember the old saying … “anything worth having is worth working for”, well it is true. Your health and fitness are not only worth it, they directly affect the quality of life for all of us as we age. You really can be younger next year … at least in FITness years! I’m going to go ahead and take this news as my permission to still put twenty-something candles on my birthday cake this year.

In good health,


“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul” – Samuel Ullman