Saturday, November 02, 2013

Is Your Body Growing Old Too Fast?

Can You Reverse Your "Body Age?"

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Engineering have discovered a new way to measure the body's "fitness age" or how old your body is compared to your real age. 

By reducing your waist size, increasing the amount and intensity of weekly exercise, and lowering your heart rate it may be possible to actually decrease your "body age" by twenty years or more. 

Researchers have developed a "fitness calculator" that allows anyone to estimate their maximal oxygen uptake and determine "body age" compared to their actual age. The model may prove to be an important tool for health authorities, doctors and others to estimate the individual's cardiovascular health status, prevent future illness, and increase longevity.

Researchers noted that physical fitness is very important for longevity and good health. While the body's oxygen uptake has up until now been the most precise measure of overall cardiovascular fitness, until now there has been no easy way to measure fitness other than a treadmill stress test measuring oxygen uptake in an exercise physiology laboratory. 

Researchers at K. G. Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology tested more than 4,600 healthy Norwegians between 20 and 90 years old and observed the mean maximal oxygen uptake in women and men and took about a dozen measurements, including height, body mass index, resting heart rate, HDL and total cholesterol levels.. 

They compared the results of oxygen uptake with the other measurements and came up with a new way to measure fitness without taking the traditional treadmill stress test.

They found a 7% decline in maximal oxygen uptake with every 10 year raise in age in both genders. Individuals with lower oxygen uptake levels were four to eight times more likely to have a combination of more than three conventional cardiovascular risk factors (i.e. the metabolic syndrome) compared to the most fit subjects with higher uptake levels. 

The study indicates that fitness levels (measured as maximal oxygen uptake) can predict future risk of dying from cardiac disease.

The researchers observed that maximal oxygen uptake results may represent a continuum from health to disease, the higher the level the better the health.

To lower your "fitness age" the calculator suggests the importance of exercising vigorously almost every day for 30 minutes or more, which will eventually result in lowering the resting pulse rate. Lowering your waist circumference, another important factor obviously means eating properly for individual who are overweight. 

Only one in three Americans are of normal weight for their height, two-thirds are either overweight or obese.

(Most authorities suggest a rule of thumb for healthy waist circumference in inches being one-half your height in inches, i.e. 64 inches tall, waist should be 32. A healthy resting pulse about 60 beats per minute or below).

Take The Fitness Test - Fitness Age Calculator

(Note the fitness calculator is calibrated in centimeters for waist circumference. Multiply your waist in inches by 2.54 to get centimeters (cm). Resting pulse rate is after resting 10 minutes.)

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