Are You Fit Enough for Your Future?

Are you as fit as a 30-year-old? Find out your body’s age.

by Elena Rover

 

 

 

Dip Test (Illustration: Kagan McCleod)

Strength: Dip Test

Strong muscles not only make your life easier, they also boost your metabolism. "Those hungry muscle cells chew up calories at two to three times the rate of fat cells," Peeke says. Other benefits: Muscle-building workouts toughen your bones and tone your flab.

Dip Test

Sit on a sturdy chair (not one with wheels!) and slide your butt off, gripping the front edge of the chair with both hands to support yourself. Make sure your arms are straight, your butt is in front of the seat and your legs are straight in front of you. Then bend your elbows to 90 degrees and press back up; repeat as many times as you can. If you get to 15, you’re finished.

Your Score/Biological Age

Reps
Body Age

13 to 15
20s

10 to 12
30s

8 to 9
40s

5 to 7
50s

3 to 4
60+

Fitness Rx

What works: Classic strength-training moves, including the triceps dip test you just performed. (It firms the back of your arms and shoulders.) Build more power with weightlifting machines, dumbbells, and bodysculpting and/or boxing classes.

How often: Two 30- to 60-minute strength-training sessions a week.

 

Core: Bicycle Test

The muscles in your abdomen, back, and hips make up your core, which holds you upright and allows the upper and lower body to work together. To keep this important area functioning well, you need to do more than crunches, Peeke says. You must develop hip flexibility, tone the side and lower abdominals, and strengthen the lower back.

Bicycle Test

Lie on your back, knees over hips, feet dangling in the air. Place your hands behind your head (keep elbows open wide and don’t lace the fingers). Try to touch your right elbow to your left knee as you fully straighten your right leg to hover above the ground. Return to the center position without touching your shoulders to the floor. Switch sides, and repeat. Take at least two seconds to do each side. Each time you touch elbow to knee on both sides, counts as one rep. Keep count until you can’t do another set. If you get to 20, you’re finished.

Your Score/Biological Age

Reps
Body Age

17 to 20
20s

13 to 16
30s

10 to 12
40s

8 to 9
50s

5 to 7
60+

Fitness Rx

What works: The bicycle test, which works all your abdominal, side, and midsection muscles, as well as the hip muscles. Other core-building activities: Pilates, yoga, dance, martial arts, and core-focused classes at the gym.

How often: Three 30- to 60-minute sessions a week.

 

Flexibility: Reach Test

Flexible muscles and joints help you maneuver better in the world (for example, looking over your shoulder to back the car out of the driveway). What’s more, stiff joints and tight muscles can also set you up for injury: Reach beyond your range and you risk getting a sprain or strain.

Reach Test

Sit on the floor with your right leg straight in front, foot flexed. Place your left foot against your inner right thigh, left knee open to the side. See how far you can reach toward the toes of your right foot. Using a tape measure, quantify your success: If your hand can reach beyond the toes of your flexed foot, measure by how many inches. If your hand doesn’t reach your foot, measure the distance between the fingertips and foot as a negative (for instance, if your fingers are 2 inches short of reaching your toes, count that as -2). If you can reach the toes but no farther, give yourself 0. Repeat on the other side. You’ll end up with two scores, and one side will probably be more flexible than the other. That means you need to work on the tighter side more, with the goal of becoming equally supple on both sides. Reaching even a quarter inch farther is a worthwhile improvement.

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