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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Finding out your real age

Nancy Dell'Olio raised a few eyebrows this week when she said she had no qualms about trying for a baby at her age (which is not known, but widely believed to be nearer 50 than 40) because her "real age" is 26.

Real age, rather than biological age, is calculated by assessing many factors including your fitness levels, diet, your immediate family's health, how often you floss your teeth, how many miles you drive and how many friends you have, amongst other things.

I blithely imagined I would have a real age up there with Nancy's because I'm always able to tick "no" to all the boxes that ever ask if you've had asthma, epilepsy, dropsy or whatever; I exercise around twice a week, eat a largely healthy diet, take vitamin supplements and have no financial or other worries.

So I took the Realage test, which is free and accessible here.

It turned out my real age was five years younger than (biological) age, but there is plenty of room for improvement. One of the surprise findings is that I don't take enough vitamin E. I had to grab the bottle of high-potency multivitamins and minerals that I take and enter some of the numbers. It contains 10mg of vitamin E when I should be taking 40mg or more, and potassium levels were also low. I don't eat enough grains or rice each week and I don't eat enough of the healthy fats found in nuts and olive oil.

Of course, twice a week isn't enough exercise (I knew that).

It helps if you know your resting pulse rate, cholesterol levels and blood pressure before you take the test. I've had all these done and they were all average but I couldn't be bothered to find the results, so by entering "average" without giving exact data makes the test compilers suspicious.

And no surprises that because I drive around 12000 miles a year, and have a mobile phone conversation at least once every journey (although it is hands-free), I'm at greater risk.

It is food for thought though and well worth doing.

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