How Old Are You.. Really?
How are you doing today? Since it’s been a pretty wordy week as far as posts go, today I’m going to put you to work! I recently discovered a website that I thought was pretty cool, and it’s called Real Age. The gist of it is that you take a test (The Real Age Test) and based on your answers, it spits out your biological age, as opposed to your calendar age. I was curious to see how old I “really” am, so I signed up and took the test.
In case you’re curious, all of the information provided on the site is developed by the Real Age team, which consists of “physicians, epidemiologists, and medical writers who research the latest findings published in peer-reviewed medical and science journals. All RealAge content is held up to stringent scientific review.” (Source) You’ll probably recognize two of the doctors on the team, Dr. Michael F. Roizen, MD, Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD.
It takes a little while, but eventually I completed the test. It’s broken out into 4 sections, as you can see below.
You’ll start off by filling out basic health questions (mostly about disease history, your age, measurements, etc). The only ones here I couldn’t answer very accurately were my blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. To be honest (and this is probably a bad thing) I have no idea what they are. Instead, I just put in “average”, in hopes that they really are average!
After this section, you’ll be asked questions about your feelings (stress levels, relationships, tendency to be optimistic or pessimistic, etc) your diet, and finally, your fitness habits.
When I was finished, I got a pleasant surprise:
My 23 year old body is actually 19! Although I realize that this might not be the most accurate and scientific tool out there, it was quite nice to know that my habits are keeping me young! I’m not sure how my actual blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels would affect this, but I’m curious to find out now.
At the end, you get to see a full customized breakdown which details the things are aging you and the things that are making you younger.
According to my results, there are 2 things that are “making my RealAge older”. It suggests that I….
1. Find better coping strategies. This is mainly based on the fact that I indicated I’d experienced 2 or more traumatic events over the past 10 years, such as a divorce or death in the family. I was given the following suggestions:
2. Work on getting enough vitamin D. I don’t take a vitamin D supplement regularly, and although I know I should discuss this with my doctor before confirming that I need one, the RealAge suggestion makes sense to me. It mentions that deficiency in vitamin D can increase our risk for several types of cancer (I know, I know, is there anything that won’t increase our risk of cancer??), and there is a bit of cancer that runs in my family. Also, living in Canada, everyone knows that we don’t get enough sunshine in the winter months! These were the suggestions I was given:
What else does RealAge offer?
After you’ve taken the test, there are plenty of other areas to poke around in. For example, there’s a menu planning tool that you can use each week. You can print off your menus and grocery lists generated by the planner, as well as track your energy and vitamin consumption. This resource is based on the book YOU: On a Diet by Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz.
There’s also a Doctor’s Visit Guide that is created for you based on your Real Age test results. The idea is that you take it to your next doctor’s appointment. It contains important areas highlighted in the test, and questions you should be asking your doctor during your visit. For example, it tells me that because I’m a woman between the ages of 18 and 26, I should remember to ask about various screenings and vaccines relevant to females in my age group.
There are squillions of resources, calculators, articles, videos, and other handy tools on RealAge.com to have a look at, and the site has definitely provided me with lots of reading material since I found it!
So once you’ve taken the test, let’s have a little chat about health. Tell me:
- What was your RealAge score? Did it surprise you? How many years older/younger than your calendar age did it put you at?
- Were there any questions in each of the 4 sections that were missed, which you feel should have been incorporated in the test to make it better?
- How on-top-of-your-health would you say you are? Do you know your BP, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels? Tell me I’m not the only one that doesn’t!!