What’s Your Effective Age?

What’s Your Effective Age?

By: Zach Fout, USAC Level 2 Cycling Coach, Cycology Coaching Solutions, LLC

With today’s technology taking the highest consumption of our time, the general public has aged much faster than their actual age. So, what does your effective age mean? Think about the appraisal of a house. When you look down through the first page, it shows actual age, and then effective age. The house may actually be 100 years old, but because of the recent updates, the effective age is 20 years old. This can be very similar for people. Just because we are twenty or fifty, doesn’t mean that we are on par physically or mentally with our actual age.

According to Phillip Sparling, 3 out of 10 students on a college campus are overweight or obese. With the increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and many other health issues with being overweight or obese, this will have a huge increase on our effective age (Sparling,P). No one wants to carry more weight around than they have to. One problem that we face is that it doesn’t happen overnight, and people don’t notice that it’s occurring. People are increasingly becoming more fatigued or their health is being jeopardized, and because it happens slowly, it can go unnoticed.

On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll have a person well into their 50’s, and have the effective age of 35-40. This active 50’s plus has a body fat percentage, blood pressure, and pulse all within a healthy 30’s individual. They’re physically active several times a week, eat a well balanced diet, and have minimal stress in their life.

Of course, effective age is subjective and there isn’t an exact way to indicate an exact effective age. But, the point of this article is to examine that a person’s actual age could have little effect on their effective age. A person’s actual age may allow for more tolerance because it’s more responsive and can reach homeostasis easier. But, I hear all the time, I’m getting too old to…­ fill in the blank, and it seems that people almost give up on being active and making healthy choices in their life. Same thing with time, “I don’t have time,” is another excuse that keeps people from making better decisions about leading a heathier lifestyle. According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, (1) being physically active on a regular basis:

  • Improves your chances of living longer and living healthier
  • Helps protect you from developing heart disease and stroke or its precursors, high blood pressure and undesirable blood lipid patterns
  • Helps protect you from developing certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer, and possibly lung and endometrial (uterine lining) cancer
  • Helps prevent type 2 diabetes (what was once called adult-onset diabetes) and metabolic syndrome (a constellation of risk factors that increases the chances of developing heart disease and diabetes; read more about simple steps to prevent diabetes)
  • Helps prevent the insidious loss of bone known as osteoporosis
  • Reduces the risk of falling and improves cognitive function among older adults
  • Relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety and improves mood
  • Prevents weight gain, promotes weight loss (when combined with a lower-calorie diet), and helps keep weight off after weight loss
  • Improves heart-lung and muscle fitness
  • Improves sleep

In conclusion, being physically, mentally and nutrionally fit will contribute to a lower effective age, and help with leading a longer active lifestyle.

If have any questions, please check out my website, www.cycologycoachingsolutions.com

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