It was another amazing day of fall colors and sunshine yesterday. This autumn must be setting records for the most sunny days and warmest temperatures. Today, on the other hand, was a good day to cook!
This week, I came upon a few interesting measures of one’s “fitness” age, which can be used as an indicator of lifespan and overall health. The first tool uses just 5 measurements: waist circumference, resting heart rate, frequency and intensity of exercise, sex and age to determine your “fitness” age. I’m always a little leery of these types of predictors, but I like the fact that this one is backed up by research and studies with high correlations to known fitness measures like VO2 max. More than a few studies have shown correlation between waist circumference and mortality. Many have shown correlations between VO2 max and longevity. Resting heart rate is a good indicator of just how hard your heart has to work to deliver oxygen to muscles and vital organs.
See this link to take the test:
Yet another looks specifically at longevity. See this link below.
This indicator asks the most pertinent questions, because it includes known indices like hereditary factors. This tool looks at:
- Average physical activity
- Body Mass Index (i.e the percentage of fat versus muscles and other tissue)
- Current cholesterol and blood pressure ratings
- Dietary makeup
- Exposure to and management of stress in your daily life
- Frequency of medical examinations and health screenings
- Genetic predisposition for heart disease, diabetes and other serious conditions
- How well your family members aged
- Potentially detrimental habits such as drinking and smoking and general drug use
- Preexisting medical issues such as diabetes or digestive problems
- Psychological state as influenced by your professional and personal life.
It looks like Dr. Oz cornered the market on the one of the measures that has been around the longest, RealAge score. This tool looks at measurements that help determine how old your body would be if you didn’t know how old you really are. Chronology is a number, but how well you take care of your health is the real indicator of how old your organs, bones, muscles, tissues and joints really are. The take-away from this blog is to think about the measures that are within your control. Thankfully, we have a lot of control over our nutrition and activity levels. There are so many cases where our lifestyle habits supersede our heredity. Longevity isn’t the only thing- take into account not only how many years in your life, but also the life in your years!