Have you ever considered your peak fitness age and its meaning? Here at The Fitness Tribe, we conducted a study with 3,000 individuals to uncover peak fitness age based on state to understand better what influences the number. We found several interesting factors like exercise and diet and how they affect the number. Let’s dive into what we found.
Age is Just a Number
We often hear the old cliche “age is just a number,” but what if it really is? What if our age is determined by how active we are and how healthy our diet is? Generally, the peak fitness age ranges between 20 to 35 for men and women. However, after performing our study, we found the average peak fitness age in America to be 34–showcasing that many are still in their prime.
Our findings found that those living in North Dakota peak at 43 while their neighbor Montana reaches their peak at 40. Alaska ranks high in peak fitness with an age of 41. Connecticut is the only other state to get over 40, with a peak age of 41.
For the most part, states weigh heavily in the 30s, with southern states like Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama all seeing a peak age at 33. The midwest ranges from 30-36, while western states like Utah and Oregon peak at 34.
The lowest peak fitness age is Wyoming at 21, and interestingly enough, the peak age for its neighbor Idaho is 28. The only other state with a low age is Rhode Island on the east coast, with a peak of 28 years old.
What Does It All Mean?
Diet and exercise play a massive role in what age we peak in our fitness. Also, most of the people we talked to stated they felt younger than their chronological age, showcasing further that age may just be a number after all.
58% of the people we interviewed pushed themselves to their limits when performing cardiovascular training. Some of our past articles speak to studies showing cardiovascular exercise and its effects on aging. Scientists believe that cardio positively affects the body down to the cellular level. Specifically, cardio training increases the caps on the end of chromosomes called telomeres. Telomeres shorten as we age, increasing aging effects. Longer telomeres decrease age-related diseases and promote a better biological age no matter your age. Pretty cool, right?
In addition to 40% of people who exercised regularly with cardiovascular training sessions, 33% participated in stretching exercises like yoga, and 27% focused on strength training to build muscle mass. All of these exercises promote better long-term health for various reasons. One main benefit for overall health and an increased peak fitness age is that the more lean muscle mass you have, the more your metabolism works when you rest. Since metabolism decreases as we age, exercise and muscle mass are crucial ingredients to keeping metabolism running.
Another example of the benefit of weight training is lowering the risk of a condition called Sarcopenia, the involuntary loss of skeletal muscle mass. Losing muscle mass as we age increases the risk of falls and broken bones, lowering our quality of life. To negate that, frequent weight training exercises work to build muscle mass to protect bones and increase strength. The stronger we are, the more stable we become.
It’s not all about exercise. Our diet is a more significant factor for losing weight and staying healthy. While ratios vary, depending on who you ask, the ratio of 80% diet and 20% exercise leads to weight loss is a good one to follow. Putting healthy ingredients in our daily diet increases essential vitamins and minerals to build muscle and recover. It all plays into having an increased peak age.
While the peak ages ranged across the USA from 21 to 43, we concluded that it’s more about how you feel and less about what numbers might say. Just because your state might say the peak fitness age is 37 doesn’t mean that’s where you are. Keeping a healthy diet and exercising regularly improves your quality of life regardless of age. We’re happy to report that over 32% of the study participants exercise because they enjoy it. Let’s increase that number. Become passionate about your workout program no matter what it is. If you love it, you’ll keep doing it.