How Old Are You Really? Test Yourself.

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Your physiological age may not be the same as your chronological age. Certain systems — cardiovascular, pulmonary, cognitive, and more — could be wildly younger or older. To determine your “physio age,” we’ve created a DIY calculator, borrowing pages from the playbooks of Dr. Joseph Raffaele, a New York City age-management physician, and arguably the two most important ongoing population studies of aging, the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging and the Dunedin Study out of New Zealand. It’s not a perfect indicator of the age of your insides. But, considering that it doesn’t depend on high-tech diagnostic hardware, it’s pretty damn close.

TEST #1: PULSE PRESSURE 

Using your most recent blood pressure measurement, subtract diastolic pressure, the low number, from systolic pressure, the high number. This will get you a rough measure of the flexibility/stiffness of your arteries, the key measure of cardiovascular system aging.

SCORING:

PULSE PRESSURE            MJ CARDIO AGE

32 or below                               20 years old

33-35                                         25 years old

36-38                                         30 years old

39-40                                         35 years old

41-42                                         40 years old

43-44                                         45 years old

45-47                                         50 years old

48-51                                         55 years old

52 -54                                        60 years old

55-57                                         65 years old

58-60                                         70 years old

61-63                                         75 years old

63-65                                         80 years old

TEST #2: STEP TEST 

Step up and down onto a roughly 12-inch-high box or step for three minutes, then while you’re still standing immediately take your pulse ( i.e., the number of beats in one minute). You’ll get a read-out on how both your cardiovascular and pulmonary systems are doing.

SCORING                               MJ CARDIO-PULMONARY AGE

Below 102                                20 years old

102-103                                    30 years old

104–108                                   40 years old

109 and above                         50 years old

** There is no heart-rate score that corresponds to an MJ Cardio-Pulmo Age of 60. In the Canadian Home Fitness Test, from which this data is loosely drawn, pulse rate after the step test actually declined for the 60-year-olds, not because they were fitter than their younger counterparts, but because their maximum heart rate had dropped so much.

TEST #3: WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE 

Measure your waist, and make sure to take the measurement at your true waist, not at your belt line, but level to your belly button. (Don’t hold your breath, either.) Because men typically wear their belts below the waist, a belt size of 36 might correspond to a 40-inch waist. Your score gives you a handle on your metabolism, how much systemic inflammation is driving your aging process.

SCORING                               MJ METABOLIC AGE

36 in. or less                             25 years old

37–39 in.                                   35 years old

40 in.                                        45 years old

41 in.                                        55 years old

42 in. and above                      65 years old

TEST #4: COGNITIVE PROCESSING SPEED 

A venerable neuro-psychological test, Trail Making B, measures how quickly you can process information. For an explanation of the test and how to take it, go to alzheimers.about.com. According to the instructions, a partner is supposed to administer the test, but you can easily do it yourself. Print out the exam (scroll down to Trail Making Test Part B), but don’t look at it closely. Start a stopwatch and begin connecting with a pencil the numbers and the letters in the proper sequence (if you make a mistake, correct it and keep going; the clock keeps ticking). Hit stop once you’re done. Your elapsed time will give you your Cognitive Age.

SCORING                               MJ COGNITIVE AGE

Below 50 seconds                    20 years old

50–54                                        30 years old

55–60                                        40 years old

61–65                                        50 years old

66–80                                        60 years old

81 and above                            70 years old

FINAL TALLY: YOUR MEN’S JOURNAL PHYSIOAGE

Add up your results from these four tests, and divide that number by four. This is your PhysioAge. If you’re not happy with the results, don’t worry. PhysioAges are malleable. Find out how you can lower your scores here