Old yogis? Young fitness age

We’ve noted quite a few times that if one maintains a regular Ashtanga practice — five, six days a week, an hour plus each day — it’s fair to consider that person an amateur athlete.

And we’ve written about the uncharted territory that is Ashtanga and aging.

So it seems worthwhile to pass this on as another bit of motivation to keep on keeping on — especially here in the U.S., the day after a holiday that may have compelled some extra indulgence. (Because a country’s birthday is a great reason for too much beer and hot dogs!)

Older athletes are surprisingly young. From the New York Times online piece:

Older athletes can be much younger, physically, than they are in real life, according to a new study of participants in the coming Senior Olympics. The study found that the athletes’ fitness age is typically 20 years or more younger than their chronological age, providing a clear inspiration to the rest of us to get out and start moving more.


The effect was similar for both male and female athletes, he pointed out. Virtually every athlete, in fact, had a lower fitness age than his or her chronological age.

Dr. Peeke and Dr. Wisloff have not yet determined whether athletes in certain of the sports at the Senior Olympics, particularly endurance events such as distance running and swimming, have a younger fitness age, in general, than athletes participating in less-vigorous sports.

But they plan to parse the data extensively in the coming months to answer that question and to look for other patterns among the Senior Olympians. They expect to publish their findings soon.

At the center of this piece and the research it covers is an online calculator that can give you your “fitness age.”

I’ll admit, I started with it and as soon as it wanted to include my info in the research, I bailed. I’ve gotten more concerned about privacy matters; yes, having a blog probably isn’t a great way to maintain that. (The secret is to lie — obviously I never practice yoga and have not been to India.)

But the research still offers an inducement for those of you who do practice to keep at it. (An.d maybe also this proves Ashtanga was designed for old people)

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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