Gretchen Reynolds on the science of fitness.
You already know your chronological age, but do you know your fitness age?
A new study of fitness and lifespan suggests that a person’s so-called fitness age – determined primarily by a measure of cardiovascular endurance – is a better predictor of longevity than chronological
age. The good news is that unlike your actual age, your fitness age can decrease.
The concept of fitness age has been developed by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, who have studied fitness and how it relates to wellness for years.
Fitness age is determined primarily by your VO2max, which is a measure of your body’s ability to take in and utilize oxygen. VO2max indicates your current cardiovascular endurance.
It also can be used to compare your fitness with that of other people of the same