What is Your Fitness Age?
We have all heard the old adage, ‘age is just a number.’ We have also heard people moaning as they get older, especially after reaching the big 4-0, about all the aches and pains that come with that number.
We can eat healthy, exercise and stay active, but is it all really helping? Did you know there is a way to actually find out if all of your efforts are paying off? On a recent trip to Canyon Ranch, in Massachusets one of the opportunities they gave to us was to Discover our Fitness Age.
Discovering your Fitness Age at Canyon Ranch determines your physiological age. It is an indicator of how well your body is holding up with the passage of time. At Canyon Ranch not only will they help you determine your psychological age, but they will help implement a personalized plan to prevent premature aging. Is there anyone who wouldn’t like to stop premature aging?
As someone who knows they have to lose weight and who doesn’t exercise regularly – I was scared – really scared about finding out my psychological age. My fear of turning out to be a 90 something woman weighed heavily on my mind. So much so that I made a concerted effort to get to the gym at least three times a week for the two weeks before my scheduled test date. Every exercise minute counted. I also knew I wanted to share my results with my readers so the bar was raised – I couldn’t come at 90, the embarrassment would have been too much for me.
Discover Your Age is a two part process. Part 1 of the test includes the following:
Body Composition to access lean muscle mass
Treadmill test to determine aerobic capacity
Muscle strength and power testing, including upper and lower body
Evaluation of balance
Reaction Time Testing
Part II of the test is a one on one meeting with your exercise physiologist where they review the test results and design an individual fitness plan to improve your fitness age.
My physiologist was amazing. After calming my nerves, she cheered me on as we went through each part of the test. After taking the five different parts of the test, I returned for part II of the test – the results.
I am happy to say I came in at my age! How thrilled was I? But there was good news and bad news to my Fitness Age. The good news was that my Aeorbic Power which was 40% of my grade, came in at 7 years younger than I a really am. Woo Hoo!! My muscle power, which makes up 30% of my age, came in at my age. So why wasn’t my Fitness Age lower? My weight aged me more than 10 years and my balance wasn’t as good as it could be either. The added weight I am carrying isn’t helping my balance.
Now that I had my Fitness Age, what was next? How do I help myself? With the help of the practitioner we came up with a plan.
We discussed my likes and dislikes about exercising and she helped me figure out what I needed to do to get my body moving – effectively. Based on the test results, she knew what my steady heart rate should be and determined where I needed to be to benefit from interval training.
Since I enjoy the elliptical, we determined that going to the gym 2 – 3 days per week for approximately an hour, would really help me. In addition to the elliptical, she added in conditioning exercises to help me build my strength. In addition, I was also provided take home exercises and printouts to assist with my goal to get healthy.
Discovering Your Fitness Age is a great way to find out where your body lands psychologically – and a great way to plan how to improve upon it.
Photo credit: www.freedigitalphotos.net