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How Old Is Your Body?

Just because you’re 35 doesn’t mean you feel that way. That’s the logic behind the concept of fitness age: a number that represents how well your body functions physically relative to how well it should function at your age. Fitness ages aren’t anything new, but recent research out of Norway has found a fast and easy way to figure yours out.

Previous studies have found that VO2 max — the amount of oxygen you can use per kilogram of body weight per minute — correlates significantly with life expectancy, regardless of age or weight. So VO2 max is a good way to determine fitness age. Unfortunately, getting your VO2 max measured usually involves running until you’re exhausted on a treadmill at a medical or research facility. That’s a lot of work for the average person.

The new study out of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim has found a much simpler way of getting your fitness age. To develop this method, the researchers used mobile labs to gather various measurements (including VO2 max) from 5,000 volunteers, ages 20 to 90. They then went through all of their data to find which data points could help them best estimate the VO2 maxes of their subjects.

That’s how they came up with their fitness age calculator, which you can use all by yourself.

Here is what you’ll need to figure it out:

Waist measurement

Resting heart rate

Age

Sex

Frequency and intensity of exercise

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