People have a lot of feelings about their age. These poignancies can range from proud and excited (6 year old boy) to disgusted and discouraged (discontent woman who won't reveal age). With my upcoming 39th birthday this Saturday (obviously not ashamed to reveal age) I decided to calculate my Health & Fitness Age and Predicted Lifespan.

 Now mind you, this Health and Fitness Age, sometimes referred to as Physiological Age, can be very different than chronological or calendar age. Health and Fitness Age predicts your Lifespan by taking into account genetic factors, specific health risks related to gender and racial demographics, diet, exercise, body composition, driving habits and more. Health and Fitness Age is considered valid and reliable by the the Academy of Science and Sport Medicine (ACSM), the recognized authority in exercise, as well as the medical community at large.

After measuring my waist hip ratio (a medium risk thanks to my inherited apple shape), and being honest about my driving habits and diet (which is actually pretty healthy these days), I discovered my Predicted Lifespan to be 108! By estimate of current health data, the average predicted age for women my age in the US is 79.9. Now data is just that, data and there is often a bias in how data is found i.e. region of county, people who are going to the doctor, college students etc. I'm not sure where this predicted average comes from however the ACSM is endorsing it so I have to believe it is fairly unbiased.  This 79.9 age prediction tells me that women AREN'T taking care of themselves.  This biggest culprit of this...lack of exercise and obesity (1).

I've often heard moral judgments on how people spend their time, in church, not in church, volunteering, neglecting kids, giving back, being selfish. This is an interesting and touchy topic and I encourage you to read the article, The Stewardship of Time by J. Hampton Keathly III, Th,M.(2). We are certainly effected when those we care about do or don't spend time with us, are hurting, and of course cease linear time with us when they die. Knowing our physical activity is directly related to our lifespan and death is a result of sin (Romans 6:23) shouldn't we create the time to be active in order to live longer?

If you're interested in calculating your Health and Fitness Age, and Lifespan, you can do so on the ACSM Heatlh Age Calculator (3) . If you just want a glimpse, I took a picture of this chart from Lifetime Physical Fitness & Wellness by Werner and Sharon Hoeger (4) (reproduced without permission and not cited in APA--if the image is removed, you know why though they downloaded it last year from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) where it is no longer available so I'm sure they'll be gracious and leave it up).

I'm very excited to live until 2083 and as you can see from the chart, increasing your physical activity in mid life does extend your lifespan. I hope you choose to live!

 (1) (downloaded)



(4) Lifetime Physical Fitness & Wellness 13th Edition by Werner and Sharon Hoeger 

Tara Galles

Tara is the founder of YOGATHEA® inspiring others to "Breathe the Peace Which Transcends All Understanding - Mind + Body + Spirit” through Christian Yoga + Meditation DVDs, CDsInstructor Training Program, and Women's RetreatsTara currently resides in Kokomo, Indiana with her husband and 4 children where she practices Occupational Therapy and has made peace with the snow.