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My RealAge

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

According to I'm not actually 34.... I'm only 32.6. Which is a lot better score than I had gotten on a another on line healthy assessment I had done recently (unfortunately, I can't remember the name of it off the top of my head and the bookmark is on the computer that is dead) where I scored roughly a D (6 points out of 10) on their health assessments.

The first health assessment, the one I didn't do well on, looked at a number of factors such as whether or not you smoked, how much you exercised, did you eat fish, vegetables, and whole grains, etc., and measured them against the chance that I would live to be 90. Some of the problem areas were just that I couldn't remember the numbers on some of the tests--I have had my cholesterol levels and fasting blood sugar etc. measured, but not super recently (and in fact have just received a reminder from my doctor that it's time again) and I'm not good at remembering numbers. So I know they were okay, and that everything but my HDL levels were acceptable (my HDL levels are really low. There's nothing I can do about it that I'm not already doing, though) but I didn't have numbers to put in.

Part of it though was that they used a stricter guidelines for the target numbers than I had been told in the past. I've always been told my blood pressure is pretty good, for example, and my last measurement was 120/80 (it stuck in my head because it hit it exactly). But according to this assessment, that's too high.

Where I got really discouraged though was that I scored terribly (didn't get a single point, in fact) on diet. I didn't get enough whole grains, didn't eat enough vegetables, didn't eat enough fish, eat too much salt (again, a much stricter guideline than what, for example, sparks uses) and ate red meat more than once a week. I've been working so hard to improve my diet for the past year--to get essentially a big fat F felt like a slap in my face.

In fact, the only things that I scored well on were the fact that I don't smoke (never have; allergic to it, so it was easy to never start. I like breathing), that I work out regularly, and that my blood sugar is good. Which is good, and I have certainly put a lot of effort in increasing my physical activity, but I had really expected to do better over all.

The RealAge quiz is longer and more detailed, and what it does is try to factor a mix of genetics/family history, diet and exercise, current health issues such as arthritis and asthma, and how good you are about visiting the doctor and following his/her directions and adjusts your current age up or down accordingly.

Some of my answers "aged" me, according to the test, while others make me younger. For example, in diet it agrees that I don't get enough vegetables , whole grains, or omega-3's (though I do take a supplement, which it didn't ask about) and too much red meat, and some of that are things I'm working on (though not red meat. With my husband's food allergies, red meat is a staple. But we buy organic, low fat cuts of meat, so it's not that horrible, either). It says that I'm not getting enough Potassium, which I knew but I'm not sure what else I can do about it. On the plus side, though, it says I'm doing well getting enough folic acid, calcium, and Vit. C. I eat a lot of fruits and a varied diet. I live a reasonably healthy lifestyle, though I have too much stress, drive too small a car (?) and ideally should get a pet. I see my doctor regularly and follow his directions, though they don't think I'm taking care of my asthma and headaches well enough--but I'm trying. We just haven't found anything that worked yet. And of course, my BMI is too high.

It says that I'm doing well on strength training and flexibility, but that I don't get enough cardio, which both shocked and frustrated me. Not counting the last couple of weeks when exercise has been, frankly, hit and miss (mostly miss, it feels like), I do 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week, and it feels like I'm shoe-horning exercise into my daily routine forcibly. I'm not doing things I want or should be doing in order to find time to exercise... and they are saying it's not ENOUGH? Nor does it tell me how much IS enough, so I don't even know how close I am to my recommended goal.

While it was far from a perfect score--there were a LOT of things that added to my age--I was doing more right than wrong and many of the things that aren't as high as I'd like are things that I'm working on (though not all of them). I can't do anything about the chronological age, but maybe if I continue to lose weight and eat healthy foods etc. I can improve me RealAge score.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Regarding Cardo, work your way up to 45 minutes 3 days a week... that might even things out a bit.
    3965 days ago
  • KOMAL53
    This is one test I won't dare to take---I bet you my real age will be---ancient!!!However I think all this is a bit funny---it's impossible for anyone to get the perfect Diet---something or the other will always get left out!!!So all we can do is try to improve our Food habits as far as possible---and leave it at that!!
    emoticon emoticon
    3972 days ago
  • 4CYNDI
    Lucky you. My "Real Age" is several years older. Mostly because I have RA, and other family illnesses that could be genetically passed on to me. Lucky me - Not! I know I don't eat enough whole grains, but a lot of my score is like yours that I can't remember the numbers. I take any online surveys with a grain of salt.

    I believe that real age is looking for 1 hour of cardio 5 or more days a week. Having used that site before I found SP. I like the SP version of how healthy are you better. It is all about small steps and progress rather than a set number on a chart.
    3974 days ago
    I have done the Real Age assessment as well when I started my SparkDiet program. There were a lot of areas I needed to address and I think I have been successful in nutrition and fitness. I plan to run an assessment again in May when I reach my first goal. By that time I will fresher numbers to work with. I will have a full blood workup by then. I am thinking my numbers will look pretty good since I feel better after losing 25 lbs.
    Keep up your good work and thanks for your Blog.
    3975 days ago
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