It turns out that the old cliché, “age is just a number,” has some scientific basis. Sure, you’re going to pick up some of the aches, pains, and decreased capacity for drinking that come with the passing years, but there’s a way you can trick Father Time into winding back the clock on your calendar age.
While you can’t pull a literal Benjamin Button, you have more power than you may realize over another important number: your fitness age. And when it comes to that, you can get younger, which may ultimately mean living longer.
Why you can stop celebrating your calendar birthday
A concept developed by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, your fitness age is a measure of VO2max (i.e. how much oxygen you use during intense exercise and the best indicator of cardiovascular fitness) and a complex combination of other health factors we won’t list here, because boy are they sciencey.
Since it can be a bummer to determine (one that involves working out with a Darth Vader-like mask strapped to your face and being hooked up to a machine that tracks the quality of each breath), science found a DIY solution. The researchers who invented the concept also created a calculator that estimates VO2max and considers other data -- like workout frequency and intensity, height, weight, and more -- to figure out your fitness age. And this test is one you can take while you wait for Broad City to come back from a commercial break. We call that a win-win.