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Your "fitness age?"

How do you prepare for the rigorous physical requirements of high elevation adventure? Strength and endurance are key, but are only part of a more complex equation. How do you prepare for changes in altitude, exposure, diet, etc.? How do you mentally prepare? Learn from others and share what you know about training in advance for outdoor adventures.

Your "fitness age?"

Postby mokelumnekid » Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:19 pm

This article in the new York Times discusses research as to how to produce a simple metric called fitness age to assess ones state of fitness relative to normal parameters for a certain age, see article here:

http://tinyurl.com/lrea2ce

If this link expires one can go directly to the calculator here:

http://www.ntnu.edu/cerg/vo2max

From the article, "The researchers evaluated almost 5,000 Norwegians between the ages of 20 and 90, using mobile labs. They took about a dozen measurements, including height, body mass index, resting heart rate, HDL and total cholesterol levels. Each person also filled out a lengthy lifestyle questionnaire. Finally, each volunteer ran to the point of exhaustion on a treadmill to pinpoint his or her peak oxygen intake (VO2 max), or how well the body delivers oxygen to its cells. VO2 max has been shown in large-scale studies to closely correlate with significantly augmented life spans, even among the elderly or overweight. In other words, VO2 max can indicate fitness age."

For example in my case, I am 61, have a resting heart rate of 60, a 34 in (86 cm) waist and my estimated fitness age is 49 years old. They add a lot of extra info on how to improve that (by making it lower). One key thing is to have at least 4 minutes of high intensity exercise, but see article and link above for all the caveats. Obviously there are probably many aspects that aren't captured by a study of this kind but it does make some sense.



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Re: Your "fitness age?"

Postby ndwoods » Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:46 pm

I got part way thru it and it wouldn't take me to rest of test. Oh well. I think I'm pretty fit...I do Crossfit...:)
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Re: Your "fitness age?"

Postby bobby49 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:21 pm

Years ago I was working for a company that had an excellent employee fitness program. There was a half-time exercise physiologist/trainer, so I took advantage of the program. They had a fitness age test, and it was mostly based in exercise machine tests and heart rate recovery. I got my test results, and it showed me to have a fitness age of 34. That was a big disappointment to me since my chronological age was 33. So, I asked the trainer about it. She said not to worry, because the entire test and standards were developed by a company in Norway, and they used Norwegians for that standard, and they are known for being super fit. She said that my fitness age by American standards was probably five years younger than my chronological age.
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Re: Your "fitness age?"

Postby chrisdiercks » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:09 am

Interesting questionnaire, but I think it could be refined further and should be generally taken with a grain of salt. For instance, I'm pretty sure there is room for another subdivision between 100% effort and some sweating and grunting (or what ever it was, lol). I almost never go 100% on my routines which are generally 1 to 2 hours. 90-95% for part of my routine, yes. Also, the first 30 min is my warmup period.

Like mokelumnekid's post, at 61 I score a 48. Not real sure what that means though, except maybe him and I share some similarities. After all, I too think Ruskie Pass rates as a 3rd class. Up or down the thing, I lie backed it.
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Re: Your "fitness age?"

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:53 am

I could care less what my fitness age is. All I care about is if I can do my planned summer backpacks! One problem with age, is that you will more likely get injured if you go "all out". Even if your fitness age is 40, your parts (particularly knees and feet) still have been around 60+ years! As I age, my off-season exercise becomes moderate and steady for more hours. Luckily, since I retired, making time to exercise is not an issue.

I do think keeping your weight down is a key for fitness as you age. Never gaining excess weight in the first place is a whole lot easier than trying to loose it later. Also, focusing on keeping down that weight with good eating habits instead of over-relying on exercise. As you age, various medical things can knock you out for a few months when you may not be able to keep up your exercise program. It will be a lot easier to get back in shape if you do not have to also loose 20 pounds!

I think that survey may be more valuable for younger people. It may be a wakeup call for those 20-somethings who have fitness ages of 40!
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Re: Your "fitness age?"

Postby maverick » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:18 pm

I could care less what my fitness age is. All I care about is if I can do my planned summer backpacks!


:thumbsup:

I am sick of hearing about age and performance! Are we not supposed to be able to backpack or indulge in any sport, at a high level, after a certain age. Every time an professional athlete gets pass a certain age, the announcers constantly have to remark on his/her age. How many times has Tom Brady's age been brought up this past year, ridiculous. :\
It seems that our society has become even more obsessed with age in the past several years, I for one could care less about it and will continue to perform to the best of my own abilities, as long as I can, we don't need to go by anyone's charts or test, just to many variables, one size does not fit all.
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Re: Your "fitness age?"

Postby rlown » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:47 pm

Tom Brady didn't do so well. Betting on retirement.
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Re: Your "fitness age?"

Postby oldranger » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:01 am

rlown wrote:Tom Brady didn't do so well. Betting on retirement.


WTF! He passed for 500 yards! I rooted for Philly but Brady was impressive--for any age.

Mav

I keep going to the gym, do lots of walking year round with a pack on but I am not operating a the same level as 40 years ago when in my early 30s. I'm not stopping but my expected daily milage is less than half of what I used to do with a heavier pack and really without thinking about it. Not ready to quit though.
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: Your "fitness age?"

Postby maverick » Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:34 am

Not ready to quit though.


Many people look at us as freaks of nature once were are in our mid 50's and up, are active, and especially if we are still going backpacking into the mountains. It's like once you hit a certain age your supposed sit down in a rocking chair, on a porch, and enjoy the sunset. Eating healthy, going to gym, and staying active is a foreign concept because that is what society has drilled into folks. Luckily in the last decade or so, the word has gotten out about the importance of physical activity, but in many parts of the US, it still is old school way of thinking.
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, an HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Your "fitness age?"

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:32 pm

Unfortunately, a lot of people do not get back into it after kids. Although I did not have time to backpack, I stayed in shape, luckily because my job involved a bit of hard physical activity. Kids finally grew up, and I moved to California and pulled the old stuff out of storage and struggled down the trail with typical heavy stuff from the 70's! LOL, I think I looked like I just jumped through a time warp and looked like a museum display! Gradually, I was able to replace a lot of this with newer and lighter equipment. Initially I focused on technical climbing, because I knew that I had less time left for this than backpacking in general. For me, the lighter weight gear is the main thing that allows me to keep going.

As for those "fitness tests", over the years, I have flunked every one of them. Flunked PE tests in High School, flunked treadmill tests at heath fairs, etc.
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