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What's Your Fitness Age?

Some of us may at times bend the truth a bit when it comes to telling people how old we are. In today's youth-obsessed culture, it's natural to want other folks to think we are younger than the date on our birth certificates. But one thing that we can't lie about is our fitness age.

The Cardio Exercise Research Group and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology recently released a new tool -- the World Fitness Level -- that enables us to calculate our aerobic fitness age. And the results can be eye-popping.

"By answering a few simple questions, we can use the calculator to reveal how old we are in fitness terms," Brent Holten says. "Since most of us in the i.d. gym family have made exercise an important part of our daily lives, our bodies are probably younger than our chronological age. But some of us may be surprised to discover that we aren't as young as we think -- and hope -- we are."

This is how the World Fitness Level calculator works:

1. Plug in your place of residence, ethnicity and education level.

2. Add your gender, age, height and weight.

3. State your maximum heart rate.

4. Answer three questions about your exercise regimen -- How often do you exercise? How long is your workout? How hard do you train?

5. Include your waist size and your resting heart rate.

After providing this information, the researchers ask you to answer a series of optional questions that they will compile in a broader study about the world's cardiovascular fitness.  

The calculator then reveals your fitness age -- along with stats about your VO2 rate, which is the amount of oxygen our muscles consume during exercise (the higher the number the better).

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The CBS Morning News recently aired a segment about the World Fitness Level. Watch the segment now.

Return to i.d. life.

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So what do you do if your fitness age is higher than your actual age?

1. Increase the amount of time you spend on aerobic exercise by at least 10 percent per week.

2. Build strength with weights. And if weightlifting isn't for you, use housework and gardening.

3. Train with a buddy -- you'll keep eachother motivated.