SUNDAY TIMES - Sorry! There's a slim chance you're not actually as fit as you think
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Sunday Times Lifestyle By Victoria Hall, 2017-03-13 06:52:59.0

Sorry! There's a slim chance you're not actually as fit as you think

TRUTH HURTS: It takes more than just a weekly run or spin class to be really fit.
Image: ALON SKUY

Are you fit for your age? You might get a nasty surprise, writes Victoria Hall

According to Virgin Active's latest research, many women between the ages of 25 and 34 would rather look slim and toned in their holiday photos than be fit enough to run a marathon.

Those under 25 claimed that ''looking good" was the main reason they worked out. It's not until we hit our mid 30s that most of us are motivated to hit the gym for our health.

Those over 55 tend to spend more time working up a sweat, but it's not just about the amount of time spent in the gym. Too many focus on one type of exercise, such as a weekly run or spin class, rather than having a varied exercise routine that covers strength, stamina and mobility.

"Exercise won't just help keep you slim, it's an important step to fight the effect of ageing and improve your mental and physical strength," says fitness expert Tim Wright, whose Beyond Movement programme incorporates Pilates, massage and physiotherapy.

But just how ''fit" should we be at our age? Wright has devised a checklist for each generation:

In your 20s you should be able to ...

• Run 5km in 30 minutes

• Do 20 burpees in a row

• Hold a full plank for one minute

In your 30s you should be able to ...

• Run 1.6km in less than nine minutes

• Hold a plank for 45 seconds

• Dead-lift more than 50% of your body-weight

In your 40s you should be able to ...

• Sprint for 60 seconds without stopping

• Do 10 press-ups without stopping

• Touch your toes comfortably with straight legs

In your 50s you should be able to ...

• Run at a moderate pace for 60 seconds without stopping

• Do five burpees without stopping

• Lower yourself into a cross-legged position on the floor without using your hands, and then return to standing

In your 60s you should be able to ...

• Regularly take more than 10,000 steps in a day

• Do 12 body-weight squats without stopping

• Touch your fingertips with one hand over your shoulder and the other behind your back

In your 70s you should be able to ...

• Walk 1.6km in less than 16 minutes

• Climb a flight of stairs with 10 steps in under 30 seconds comfortably

• Rise to stand from a chair without using your hands or arms, and repeat at least 12 times in 30 seconds.

- The Daily Telegraph