Take these four tests to find out how well you’re aging

Aches and pains come with age — a common notion understood by the community of elderly men and women who most often feel these changes to their bodies beyond the years of adulthood.

Since there’s no set framework for how and when people age, the timing varies. But there are a few things you can do to monitor the rate at which your body is maturing.

Simple balance test

How well can you keep your balance? If the answer is “pretty well,” you may just pass this test. Did you know that every year, one in three Americans over 65 takes a spill at one point or another? Though it may seem silly, the medical consequences, in some cases, turn out to be quite severe.

This test helps to determine your risk for falls as you age

Test yourself: Stand up straight with your arms crossed. Lift up either leg, starting a timer as you do so, and hold that leg up with your knee bent for as long as you can without touching the other leg or uncrossing your arms. Don’t use a support.

Stop the timer when the raised leg touches the floor or the other leg, or if you uncross your arms or move your arms out of position.


How well are you aging?

So, what’s the verdict? According to the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, this is how long you should be able to hold the pose for:

60s: 27 seconds

70s: 17.2 seconds

80s: 8.5 seconds

What you need to know:

Couldn’t hold it for the recommended amount of time? Don’t panic. But be conscious of the fact that decreased balance could be a sign of other medical issues — low blood pressure and vertigo are two factors you should be looking out for.

It’s in our 20s that balance starts to decline as a result of decreased vision, sensors on the bottom of our feet and a decline in our vestibular system.

In the meantime, practice standing on one foot while brushing your teeth or walking heel-to-toe with one foot directly in front of the other.

Standing from floor test

What are the chances you’re able to get up from a sitting position on the floor without using your hands? If they’re good, your lower-body strength is sufficient!
Test yourself: Sit on the floor and try to get up without using your hands or any nearby objects as a crutch.

What you need to know:

Passing the test will add years to your life! Those at the top third of quad strength were roughly 50 percent less likely to die in five years.

Lower-body strength is key — with the help of good balance and coordination. All factors are crucial in reducing your risk of falling later on.

It’s not too late to start exercising, either. Even if hitting the gym wasn’t your number one hobby during adulthood, you can still reap the benefits of exercising regularly now. Get out twice a week and exercise — the activity will increase muscle strength of the ankles, knees, and hip muscles. Think you’re suffering from a balance issue early on? Make sure you’re wearing proper footwear.

Timed Up-And-Go Test

In this test, your mobility and risk of falls will be challenged.

Test yourself: To begin this test, sit in a chair. As soon as you stand up, start the timer! Once you’re on your feet, walk 10 feet forward, turn around and return to your seat, stopping the timer as soon as you are seated.

What you need to know:

A healthy adult without mobility issues should be able to do this in under 10 seconds.
Didn’t pass the test and wondering how you can improve? Focus on exercises that will increase the strength of ankles, knees and hip muscles.

Grip Test
It’s normal to experience a degree of muscle loss as you age — the grip test will help determine this strength.
Test yourself: Grab a dynamometer. Sitting in a chair with your feet firmly on the ground, squeeze the tool as hard as you can, for three seconds.

The tool will measure how many pounds of force you squeezed with. It might feel weird the first time around, so it’s perfectly okay to do a practice run!

What you need to know:

Most women in their 50s can manage about 61 pounds of force while the average male has around 97.5 pounds.
For women and men in their 60s, the average is 53.3 and 89 pounds, respectively.

Grip strength is an indicator of how fast your body is aging. If your handgrip is good, muscles in the rest of your body are probably strong, too. Poor grip strength may prompt your doctor to check for other medical illnesses.
Our tip to staying youthful? Exercise regularly! At least twice a week. The increased muscle strength will help immensely.

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