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Real Age

Print Close this window Take charge! Grow younger and healthier in three steps. See what’s making you YOUNGER and OLDER (below). READ YOUR PLAN. Set your goals, and find out how to reach them. Retake the test in 90 days to TRACK YOUR PROGRESS. Your RealAge is 66.2!

What's making your RealAge YOUNGER See All OLDER See All Combined List Health “Think of your doctors as teachers; after all, that's what doctor means in Latin.”

~Michael Roizen, MD, and Mehmet Oz, MD, The YOU Docs Maintain your healthy attitude.

Your RealAge is younger because you feel your overall health is excellent compared to other people your age. Keep up your good health and lifestyle habits!

Here’s why: In general, your attitude toward your overall health is a reliable predictor of your longevity. Take an aspirin.

Ask your doctor if taking a daily aspirin is right for you and, if so, how much you should take.

Here's why: Daily aspirin makes your RealAge younger by combatting arterial aging, heart attacks, strokes, and maybe some cancers. Find out how the benefits vary between women and men. Talk to your doc before starting daily aspirin therapy, because some harmful side effects can occur, especially if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, ulcers, or asthma.

Hints Take aspirin with warm water. Reduce potential stomach discomfort by drinking half a glass of warm water before and afterward; it makes the pills dissolve faster, which makes them less likely to cause irritation, ulcerations, or bleeding. Take before bed. In one study, people who took their daily aspirin before bed had bigger improvements in blood pressure than people who took it in the morning or late afternoon. Avoid drug interactions.

Your RealAge is younger because you do not routinely take any medicines.

Here’s why: The more medicines you take, the greater the chance that one may cause harm or counteract the intended benefit of another medication. Get vaccinated.

Ask your doctor whether you should get vaccinated against pneumonia.

It's highly recommended if any of the following applies to you:

You are over 65 years of age You live in a nursing home You have any form of cancer You take immunosuppressive medicines, such as steroids You are HIV positive

Here's why: The vaccine against pneumococcal bacteria (a major cause of pneumonia-related deaths) has been shown to save lives, especially among the very young, the very old, or people whose immune systems are compromised.

Hint Get a good night's sleep right before and afterward. Being well rested may help the vaccine work even better by boosting your body's immune system response. Spend 120 seconds at the sink.

Having gingivitis/gum disease makes your RealAge older. To make it younger: Brush your teeth for a good 2 minutes at least twice a day -- and floss every day.

Here's why: Having healthy teeth and gums may help keep your arteries and immune system healthy, too. Read why.

4 Ways to Protect Your Teeth and Gums

Brush correctly. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle, circular motions to clean your teeth and gum lines. Harsh brushing can strip off tooth enamel and damage your gums, so easy does it. Floss every day. Flossing breaks up the bacteria between your teeth and is one of the easiest ways to make your RealAge younger. Make a regular date with your dentist. Show up every 6 months for a cleaning and a checkup. Pick the right paste. Choose a fluoride toothpaste that controls tartar. Hints Avoid dry mouth. Saliva acts as a natural defense against cavity-causing substances, so eat fibrous foods, like apples, or chew sugarless gum -- both help increase cleansing saliva. But beware of certain bubbly beverages. Watch the whitening. Some home whiteners may cause temporary tooth sensitivity, especially in people with receding gums. Habits "Aging is reversible -- all you need is a nudge."

~Michael Roizen, MD, and Mehmet Oz, MD, The YOU Docs Keep your nonsmoker status.

Congratulations! Your RealAge is younger because you do not smoke. Keep sitting in the nonsmoking section.

Because you are rarely, if at all, exposed to passive smoke, your RealAge is younger.

Here’s why: Secondhand smoke kills more than 40,000 people each year, and it makes your RealAge older. Whether it comes from a cigarette, pipe, or cigar, secondhand tobacco smoke causes accelerated aging due to cancer, heart disease, and lung disease.

See what our Medical Encyclopedia says about secondhand smoke. Stick with your sleep schedule.

You may be getting the amount of nightly sleep that is right for you, but if you’re not feeling well rested during the day, try to go to bed half an hour earlier, and stick to a regular sleep schedule, even on weekends.

Here’s why: Sleep not only helps you function at your mental and physical best but also allows many body systems to rest. Getting too little or too much sleep can raise your blood pressure and stress level, which can increase your risk of heart disease and make your RealAge older.

Take the RealAge Sleep Health Assessment for more information. Keep learning.

Your advanced educational level gives you some advantages, including making your RealAge younger.

Here's why: Staying mentally active throughout life can keep your brain younger and improve your overall health.

And keep challenging your mind with quizzes and games like these. Keep stopping at two.

Keep limiting your alcohol consumption to one or two drinks a day. Right now, your RealAge is younger because you do.

Here’s why: Drinking in moderation carries a low risk of alcohol-related problems and may offer some valuable health benefits, particularly for people over 40. Here’s more about how alcohol affects your health.

Tips for Healthy Drinking

Measure up. One drink equals about half an ounce of pure alcohol, which roughly corresponds to:

12 fluid ounces of regular beer 5 fluid ounces of wine 1.5 fluid ounces of 80-proof liquor or distilled spirits 1 fluid ounce of 100-proof spirits Spread it out over the week. Having several drinks on one night is not equivalent to having one drink a day, as some might like to believe. Remember: Always drink in moderation. Check your family history. Avoid alcohol if you or a family member has had a problem with alcohol or drug use. Alcohol can be addictive and, in excess, ages the liver, brain, heart, and kidneys. If you think you may have a problem with alcohol, talk to your doctor. Obey the law. Never drink and drive. Even one drink can impair your judgment and reaction time, so designate a nondrinking driver or call a cab. Avoid spills.

Your RealAge is younger because you do not have a lower-body disability nor do you take sedative, antianxiety, or antidepressant medications.

Here’s why: Lower-body weakness increases a person’s risk of sustaining an injury from a fall. Falls are a major cause of injury -- ranging from bruises to life-threatening trauma -- and disability, especially among people over 65.

3 Ways to Maintain Balance

Exercise to improve and maintain your balance, flexibility, strength, and coordination. Try tai chi or chi-gong. Balance exercises and lower-extremity strength training are particularly important for reducing the risk of falls and hip fracture. Check your balance now. Follow recommended screening schedules. Ask your healthcare provider how often you should have bone-density testing or other preventive screenings. Take vitamin D and calcium supplements. These nutrients are essential for building and preserving bone. Discover three other ways to boost your balance. Keep designating a driver.

Thank you for being a responsible driver. Your RealAge is younger because you do not drink and drive or ride in a motor vehicle with a driver under the influence of alcohol.

Here's why: Getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol increases your chance of having a potentially severe or even fatal accident. Keep your mid- to large-size vehicle.

Your RealAge is younger because you are generally in a mid- to large-size motor vehicle.

Here’s why: A large motor vehicle provides more protection in a serious accident than does a small motor vehicle.

3 Ways to Boost Safety

Do research. When shopping for a car, check Consumer Reports or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to determine how the motor vehicles that you are interested in perform in crash tests. Get air bags. Consider driver- and passenger-side air bags as one of your selection criteria. Go for silver. One study revealed that silver cars were as much as 50% less likely to be involved in serious accidents compared with cars that were another color. Read more. Watch the lead foot.

Your fast driving is making your RealAge older. Don’t drive faster than 5 miles per hour over the speed limit.

Here’s why: Not only are you increasing your chance of having a fatal or disabling accident, but also you’re placing others at risk. Studies show that fast drivers rarely arrive at their destination any sooner than those who drive closer to the speed limit.

Tips to Keep You Safer on the Road

Leave a few minutes earlier for work or other appointments. This will help relieve the stress of running late and help you drive more safely. Consider what’s behind your speeding. For some people, driving fast may be an inappropriate way of dealing with anger or stress. If that sounds like you, learn how to deal with your anger or stress before you get behind the wheel. Speeding often goes along with other unsafe driving practices. So make sure to buckle up, and refrain from driving if you’re tired or have been drinking. Drive phone-free.

Continue to not talk on the phone while driving.

Your RealAge is younger because you never, or hardly ever, talk on the phone while behind the wheel.

Here’s why: Using your phone while driving increases your chance of having a potentially severe or even fatal accident. And using a voice-activated speakerphone does not lower your risk. (Why not?) Keep buckling up.

Stick with your habit of wearing a seat belt whenever you are in a car or truck. Your RealAge is younger because you always buckle up and have air bags in your vehicle.

Here’s why: Wearing a seat belt and having air bags (if you’re at least 5 feet tall) can help protect you from most injuries -- and death -- if you’re in an accident. Pick your teeth.

Floss every day. Flossing is the most important thing you can do to prevent periodontal disease and needless aging.

Here’s why: Brushing alone can’t take care of the bad bacteria that live in the plaque between your teeth. Allowing the soft, sticky bacterial film to build up invites all kinds of mouth trouble, including damaged tooth enamel and decay; irritated, bleeding gums; bad breath; tooth loss; and, in severe cases, damage to the bone structure supporting the teeth.

Read how flossing could save more than your smile. Relationships “Joy, temperance, and repose, slam the door on the doctor's nose.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Consider your parents’ relationship.

Your parents have helped make your RealAge younger.

Here’s why: In general, you have a healthier lifestyle if your parents remained together until you were at least 18 calendar years old. Keep finding time for each other.

Your happy marriage helps make your RealAge younger.

Here’s why: A healthy marriage can improve social interaction and lower stress.

3 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Strong

Make dates. Relationships need attention to thrive. Regularly set aside specific times to be together -- to talk, play, and focus on each other. Be a good role model. Treat your partner the way you want to be treated. Keep it real. No relationship is perfect. Have realistic expectations; studies suggest it could help make your bond stronger. Find out why. Writing down your thoughts might help, too. Hug your dog.

Your dog makes your RealAge younger.

Here’s why: For many people, having a dog or cat (or bird or ferret or any affectionate creature) reduces stress. Dogs also increase your physical activity because they need daily walks and playtime.

Visit DogAge or CatAge for more information on caring for a dog or cat. Reach out.

Right now, your social support network (friends, family, organized groups) is solid but not excellent. To help you deal with major stressful events -- now or in the future -- work on building more strong, close relationships.

Here’s why: Coping with stressful life events by yourself is physically and emotionally draining. In general, having people you can turn to for support helps you work through anxiety and can counterbalance the aging effects of stressful events.

5 Ways to Build Connections

Make time for family members or old friends. Give them a ring, send them an e-mail, or schedule time to see each other. Enroll in a class. Sign up for a course in something you’re interested in -- it’s a great way to meet people with whom you already have something in common. Open up. Practice sharing your daily ups and downs with others; it builds bonds. Take the first step. Make plans with people you’d like to get to know better. Once you’ve broken the ice, it’s easier to get together again. Be curious. Ask people questions, and really listen to their responses instead of simply waiting for your turn to talk. People are more likely to be interested in you if you’re interested in them. Hints Consider these strategies for coping with stress:

Try yoga, tai chi, or chi-gong. Or just go for a walk. Meditate, or enjoy some quiet time in nature. This will get you started. Write in a journal, strum a guitar, draw, paint, or do your favorite craft. Spend time with good friends, or give your pets extra love and attention. Listen to relaxation tapes or soothing music. Here’s how rhythms relax you. Watch a funny movie, or engage in any activity that inspires a good belly laugh. Laughter is good medicine! Diet “The more you eat, the less flavor; the less you eat, the more flavor.”

~Chinese proverb Get the fantastic four.

Focus on getting the right amounts of calcium, folic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

We'd love you to get the perfect amount of every vitamin, mineral, and nutrient from food, but who's perfect? So taking supplements is like an insurance policy for an imperfect diet. But if you take medications regularly and opt for supplements, check with your doctor first.

Here's why: Getting the right amount of these four nutrients reduces your risk of osteoporosis, arterial aging, heart attack, and cancer.

Calcium Your goal: At least 1,600 milligrams (mg) a day for women and 1,200 mg for men.

Do dairy. An 8-ounce glass of skim milk has 300 mg to 500 mg. A serving of low-fat yogurt, swiss cheese, or ricotta cheese has 200 mg to 250 mg. Crunch away. Whole grains, dark leafy greens (collard greens, spinach, and kale), and almonds (1/4 cup has about 100 mg) are extra sources of calcium, too. Look for "calcium-fortified" on labels -- you'll see it often on OJ, breakfast cereals, some breads, graham crackers, and more. Folate Your goal: 700 micrograms (mcg) of folate -- also known as folic acid -- a day.

Eat beans. Add 1/2 cup of black-eyed peas (100 mcg), lima beans (80 mcg), soybeans/edamame (100 mcg), or garbanzo beans (80 mcg) to soups, salads, and other dishes. Think green. Have 1/2 cup of asparagus (190 mcg), spinach (60 mcg), or broccoli (50 mcg) with lunch or dinner. Other veggies that pack a big folate punch: artichokes (one large = 150 mcg) and brussels sprouts (four large = 130 mcg). Be a savvy snacker. Munch on 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds (80 mcg), a cup of Os cereal (100 mcg), an orange (40 mcg), or a cup of blackberries (50 mcg). Vitamin C Your goal: At least 800 mg a day (unless you're taking a cholesterol-lowering statin drug, in which case, keep it to 50 mg twice a day).

Hit the fruit bowl. Eat at least four servings a day. Have an orange (70 mg); a tangerine (26 mg); or a cup of cantaloupe (65 mg), strawberries (85 mg), or sliced mango (45 mg). Go veggie. Eat at least five servings of vegetables a day. Dunk 1/2 cup of green pepper strips (95 mg), broccoli (41 mg), or cauliflower (46 mg) into low-fat yogurt dip and you'll get some calcium, too. Start juicing. Pour yourself an 8-ounce glass of orange juice (125 mg), pineapple juice (60 mg), grapefruit juice (72 mg), or tomato juice (45 mg). Vitimin E It's difficult to get enough E from food alone, so consider adding a daily supplement of 400 international units (IU). But if you're taking a statin drug, keep E supplements to 100 IU.

Eat foods rich in vitamin E. Sprinkle wheat germ on your yogurt; snack on hazelnuts, almonds, or peanuts; add avocado and mango to your salads; serve sweet potatoes for dinner. Cook with E. Use a little safflower, canola, or corn oil when cooking -- they’re all good sources of vitamin E. Get a daily dose of C.

Increase your daily vitamin C intake to at least 1,200 milligrams (mg). It looks like the amount you get now is on the low side.

Here’s why: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that reduces arterial aging and helps prevent fatty plaque build-up on blood vessel walls. It also boosts your immune system, promotes healing, builds collagen in the skin, aids in joint repair, and helps you metabolize proteins. Wow!

3 Ways to Get More Vitamin C

Hit the fruit bowl. Eat at least four servings of fruit a day. Have an orange (70 mg of vitamin C); a tangerine (26 mg); or a cup of cantaloupe (65 mg), strawberries (85 mg), or mangoes (45 mg). Go veggie. Eat at least five servings of vegetables a day. Dunk 1/2 cup of green pepper strips (95 mg), broccoli (41 mg), or cauliflower (46 mg) into a low-fat yogurt dip, or slice up a tomato (24 mg). Start juicing. Pour yourself an 8-ounce glass of orange juice (125 mg), pineapple juice (60 mg), grapefruit juice (72 mg), or tomato juice (45 mg). Use this tool to find more foods and recipes high in vitamin C.

Hints Get at least 1,200 mg of vitamin C daily, spread throughout the day. For example, take a 400-mg supplement in the morning, afternoon, and evening, or eat a high-C food at each meal. Why? Vitamin C dissolves easily in water, so if you take a single daily dose, most of it will rapidly be excreted in your urine. Take up to 400 IU of vitamin E daily. Vitamin C may have a better effect if you take both vitamin C and vitamin E. People who take statin drugs should limit their vitamin E intake according to their healthcare provider’s advice. If you have any side effects that you think are related to vitamin C intake, talk to your doctor.

Drug Alerts

If you take warfarin (Coumadin) or dicumarol or are considering taking any blood-thinning medication, please talk to your doctor before increasing your vitamin C intake through supplementation or diet. If you have hemochromatosis, please talk to your doctor before increasing your vitamin C intake. Boost your folate intake.

Make sure you’re getting 700 micrograms of folate (or folic acid) from food and supplements.

Looks like your daily folate intake is on the low side, and it’s making your RealAge older. But upping it to 700 micrograms (mcg) a day can change that.

Here’s why: Folate is a B vitamin that helps reduce the level of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is linked to heart disease and blood clots.

How to Boost Your Folate Intake

Eat beans. Add 1/2 cup of black-eyed peas (100 mcg folate), lima beans (80 mcg), soybeans or edamame (100 mcg), or garbanzo beans (80 mcg) to soups, salads, and other dishes. Think green. Have 1/2 cup of asparagus (190 mcg), spinach (60 mcg), or broccoli (50 mcg) with lunch or dinner. And serve up two other veggies that pack a powerful folate punch: artichokes (one large = 150 mcg) and brussels sprouts (four large = 130 mcg). Be a savvy snacker. Munch on 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds (80 mcg), 1 cup of Os cereal (100 mcg), an orange (40 mcg), or 1 cup of blackberries (50 mcg). Fill in the gap. If you're like most people and don’t get enough folate through food alone, take a daily multivitamin that contains 400 micrograms of folic acid, which is the synthetic form of folate found in fortified foods and supplements. Use this online tool to find more folate-rich foods and recipes.

Hints The RDA isn’t enough. Studies show that the U.S. recommended daily allowance (RDA) for men (200 mcg) and women (180 mcg) is too low. The 700 mcg we suggest is now considered adequate for adults. Don’t go overboard. Don’t exceed 1,000 mcg of folate per day, because excessive amounts could lead to nerve damage or vitamin B12 deficiency. Check your diet. Take the RealAge Nutrition Assessment and see how much folate you get in your diet before taking a large supplement.

Important Notes

If you are a vegetarian or eat a lot of leafy green vegetables or other folate-rich foods, you may already be consuming large amounts of folate and may not benefit from folic acid supplementation as much as others -- or even need it. If you have kidney problems, you may also need to reduce your protein intake in order to control your homocysteine levels. If you are over 60 years of age or concerned about your nutritional intake, talk to your doctor about whether you should take folic acid and/or vitamin B12 -- or not. Keep up the diversity in your diet.

Looks like you have at least three of the five basic food groups (grains, vegetables, fruit, dairy products, and protein) covered in your daily diet. Keep enjoying a mix of foods.

Here's why: Eating a diverse diet can help you maintain a healthy weight, make your RealAge younger, and let you enjoy some of the most delicious foods on the planet. Putting a variety of healthful options on your plate also maximizes the disease-fighting potential of your foods.

Take the RealAge Nutrition Assessment for an in-depth nutrition analysis.

4 Ways to Diversify Your Diet Even More

Hit the produce aisle. Every week, pick out a fruit and veggie that you've never tried or rarely eat, and grab a big bunch of your favorites, too. These plant foods contain important protective phytochemicals and antioxidants that help prevent disease and preserve health. Go with the grain. Replace refined breads, pasta, rice, and other heavily processed grain products with a couple of whole-grain options, such as millet, bulgur, and whole wheat. Make sure you can tell the difference between whole grains and refined. Count colors. Add a greater variety of colorful vegetables and fruit to each meal, and push out pale, bland foods, such as white bread and pasta. The more colors, the greater the payoff (and food coloring doesn't count). Take three. Vitamin-rich fruit and veggies, fiber-rich whole grains, fish or lean poultry, and heart-healthy fats are good staples to include in most meals. If you can’t cover all five, aim for at least three. Hint Pair off: Certain foods benefit your body most when they’re eaten along with other foods. For example, eating vegetables or fruit with a bit of heart-healthy unsaturated fat -- such as olive oil or the fats found in most nuts and seeds -- can help your body better absorb the fat-soluble nutrients in them. Find out how first eating a little healthy fat will help you eat smaller meals. Boost your E.

Increase your vitamin E.

Based on your test, your vitamin E intake is low, and that’s making your RealAge older. It's difficult to get enough E from food alone, so consider taking a daily supplement of 400 international units (IU).

Here’s why: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that acts as an antiaging agent. It helps fight heart attacks by keeping the bad (LDL) cholesterol in your blood from sticking to artery walls, and by thinning blood somewhat, which makes risky clots less likely to form. Plus, vitamin E may also fend off common vision stealers, such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

How to Get More Vitamin E

Take a pill. One 400 IU dose per day will cover your nutritional bases. Eat foods rich in E. Sprinkle wheat germ on your yogurt; snack on hazelnuts, almonds, or peanuts; add sliced avocado and mango to your salads; serve up some sweet potatoes. Cook with it, too. Use safflower, canola, or corn oils in the kitchen -- they’re all good sources of E. Hints Go natural. Make sure your vitamin E supplement contains mostly the natural forms of E: tocopherols (especially gamma tocopherol) and tocotrienols. Check the ingredients list for a "d-" prefix, such as d-alpha tocopherol or d-gamma tocopherol. Synthetic forms will have a "dl-" prefix. Take it with C. Vitamins E and C work together to prevent the oxidation that causes clogs in vessel walls. So when you take your E, take1,200 milligrams of C.

Drug Alerts If you take warfarin (Coumadin), dicumarol, or any other blood-thinning medication (including daily aspirin), talk to your doctor before increasing your vitamin E intake. If you take statin drugs, talk to your doctor about how much vitamin E is right for you. Stick to a steak a week.

Sticking to one 4-ounce serving, or less, of red meat per week makes your RealAge younger.

Here's why: Although red meat (beef, pork, veal, and lamb) is a rich source of protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, it’s also loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol. In fact, for most people, red meat is the greatest source of dietary cholesterol.

3 Ways to Cut Back on Red Meat

Go halfsies. When making hamburgers, meatballs, or meatloaf, use half the usual amount of ground meat, and make up the difference with whole-grain breadcrumbs, brown rice, barley, grated vegetables (carrots, zucchini, and onion are great for this), mashed beans, or lentils. Round out the flavor with a little lemon juice or tomato sauce and your favorite seasonings -- and don’t be surprised if the results produce rave reviews. They’re often juicier and tastier, not to mention less greasy. Make it bite-sized. Cube or chop small fillets of meat into small pieces to make them go further, stirring them into stir-fries, stews, and casseroles along with vegetables, grains, and beans. Use the flavor. Add reduced-sodium beef broth to vegetable-based soups, pasta, rice, or risotto dishes to create a satisfying meat taste without using any meat at all. Hints Get your breakdown. Review your RealAge nutrition report to see what percentage of your total calories comes from polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated fat. Balance your good fats. Getting the right mix of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats may help control cholesterol. Read more. Maintain your current cholesterol levels.

Maintain your current cholesterol levels.

Your total cholesterol level is excellent. And judging from your answers, your HDL cholesterol is high, which is healthy. Along with your low total cholesterol level, this makes your RealAge younger.

Here’s why: Total cholesterol is made up of two components: HDL, high-density lipoproteins, which are good (think H for healthy); and LDL, low-density lipoproteins, which are bad (think L for lousy). Imagine LDL as a bus carrying a bunch of troublemakers around, dropping them off in your arteries to cause damage, while HDL is a high-speed paddy wagon that zips through your arteries, whisking the rogue elements off the streets. The higher your HDL, the more protection you have against arterial aging, heart attack, and stroke.

For more information on cholesterol and heart disease, take the RealAge Cholesterol Health Assessment. Pump up the potassium.

Eat more foods that are rich in potassium.

Judging from your answers, it looks like you could use more potassium-rich foods in your diet. Kick up your intake to at least 3,000 milligrams (mg) a day and you’ll see your RealAge get younger.

Here’s why: Potassium helps lower blood pressure, slow aging of the circulatory system, and prevent strokes. It also helps your body metabolize carbohydrates and proteins.

3 Ways to Get More Potassium in Your Diet

At breakfast: Add a quarter cup of prunes (350 mg potassium), dried apricots (480 mg), or a banana (450 mg) to your cereal. And pour yourself an 8-ounce glass of tomato juice (535 mg) or orange juice (496 mg). Dates, raisins, and figs also will boost your potassium. At lunch: Have a cup of fruit salad with watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew (460–560 mg), and 8 ounces of yogurt (400–530 mg). At dinner: Serve up steamed scallops (3 1/2 ounces = 455 mg), and a large baked potato (780 mg). Use this tool to find more potassium-rich foods and recipes.

Hints Stick with food. Avoid potassium supplements unless directed by your physician to take them. Excessive potassium can be toxic. For this mineral, rely on food as a safe source. Go easy on the sodium. Limit processed foods -- especially salty snacks -- which are high in sodium and can throw off the ratio of sodium to potassium in your body. Ideally, you want to be balanced at 1:1. Keep doing daily breakfast.

Keep up your daily breakfast routine.

Here’s why: A healthy morning meal starts filling your daily nutrition quota and keeps you energized for hours, and it also stabilizes your blood sugar, which helps prevent afternoon hunger pangs -- the kind that trigger junk-food raids.

3 Breakfast Do’s and Don’ts

Do get plenty of fiber and protein -- they will keep you full and satisfied until lunch. Do opt for healthful fats, especially omega-3s -- think nuts, salmon, flaxseeds -- rather than the saturated fat in butter, full-fat milk and cheese, bacon, and pastries. Avoid sweets. Too much sugar can send your energy soaring up -- and then crashing down -- before the morning's half over. Hints Crack an egg. Scramble, boil, or poach one for breakfast. Eggs are a good source of protein and other nutrients, and the latest research suggests they don’t increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. But don’t overdo it -- a few each week is plenty. Read more about why eggs are a good choice. Go lean. If you love breakfast meats, opt for leaner types, such as Canadian bacon, or substitute chicken, turkey, or soy-based bacon and sausage. There are several good options on the market, but check the labels for those with the lowest fat and sodium content. Get nutty. Crunchy, satisfying, and full of healthful fats, an ounce of nuts makes the perfect topper on cereal or yogurt. Read why. Take it with you. If you’re in a rush, fill a plastic bag with nuts, whole-grain cereal, and dried fruit; or orange slices and low-fat granola; or cheese and crackers; or anything else reasonably healthy, whether it's “breakfast food” or not.

Find healthy breakfast ideas in the RealAge Recipe Box. Stay hooked on fish.

Keep eating at least two servings of nonfried fish (or another good source of omega-3s) a week.

You serve up fish twice a week, and it’s helping make your RealAge younger.

Here's why: Not only is fish a good source of protein and vitamins, but many varieties (see below) also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep arteries healthy and lower triglycerides, a risky element in cholesterol.

4 Places to Get Your Omega-3s

Cold-water fish: Choose haddock, whitefish, tuna, scrod, salmon, sardines, tilapia, cod, and pike. Oils: Use canola, olive, flaxseed, and soybean oils. Read up on oils. Nuts and seeds: Eat walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and soynuts. Soy foods: Try tofu, soymilk, and anything made from whole soybeans. Learn how to shop for soy-based foods. Hints Avoid long-lived predatory fish, such as king mackerel, swordfish, and shark -- they often contain unhealthy levels of mercury from pollution. Avoid fish that’s breaded or cooked in other coatings. It’s generally fried in unhealthy, high-calorie fats. Opt for grilled, broiled, or baked fish. You’ll get great flavor, those good fish fats, and no artery-clogging gunk. Don’t drown fish in creamy, buttery sauces. All those clogging fats and cholesterol negate the benefits of eating fish.

Take the RealAge Nutrition Assessment for an in-depth analysis of your eating habits. Up your calcium and D intake.

It looks like you may not be getting enough calcium in your daily diet. You’re not alone. Most people don’t get enough for optimal bone density. Aim to get 1,500 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day from foods and supplements.

Here’s why: Calcium helps solidify and strengthen your bones to prevent fractures due to falling. Getting proper amounts of this bone-boosting mineral also helps your muscles contract and keeps your joints free of inflammation and arthritis. And that’s not all -- calcium helps your brain communicate with your nerves, keeps your blood pressure normal, and reduces the risk of colon cancer.

4 Ways to Get More Calcium

Take it with D. When calcium and vitamin D get together, the D increases your body’s ability to absorb calcium. But it's tough to get enough D from food, so make sure your calcium supplement includes D. Ideally, split a daily calcium dose of 1,000 mg to 1,200 mg into two doses of 500 mg to 600 mg each, and take one in the morning, the other at night. This also helps your body absorb it better. Wash it down with OJ. To get the most bang for your nutritional buck, have something acidic (like OJ) with your calcium. The acidity increases absorption. Also, 8 ounces of fortified orange juice has 300 mg to 330 mg of calcium, 100 international units (IU) of vitamin D, and 60 mg of vitamin C. Do dairy. Eight ounces of fortified skim milk has 300 mg to 500 mg of calcium per serving. And a serving of low-fat yogurt, swiss cheese, or ricotta cheese has 200 mg to 250 mg of calcium. Crunch away. Eat whole grains, dark leafy greens (collard greens, spinach, and kale), and nuts (almonds are rich in both magnesium and calcium). Use this tool to find more calcium-rich foods and recipes.

Hint Give it a shake. Be sure to shake the milk or juice carton before serving, because calcium tends to settle in the bottom of the carton. Take a closer look at your diet.

Want a more in-depth analysis of your eating habits? Take the Nutrition Assessment. You’ll get specific, personalized recommendations and action steps for the following areas of your diet:

Cholesterol Diversity Saturated fat Polyunsaturated fat Calcium Potassium Vitamin E Vitamin C Flavonoids Fiber Folic acid Have some fruit.

Eat at least 4 whole pieces of fruit every day.

Here’s why: Fruit is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber and is also a tasty, low-cal alternative to unhealthy sweets like baked goods and candy. Plus, many fruits are loaded with carotenoids, which have antiaging properties.

Take the RealAge Nutrition Assessment for an in-depth nutrition analysis.

3 Ways to Eat More Fruit

Stash some at work. Instead of hitting the vending machine, bring a couple of pieces of fruit from home, so you always have a healthy snack handy when your stomach starts growling. Find out the shelf life on some favorites. Whirl up a smoothie. Pull out the blender and toss a banana and your favorite berries in with some low-fat yogurt, milk, or calcium-fortified orange juice. Find more ideas for healthy smoothies. Add them to a salad. Combine savory cheese with sweet, juicy fruit and dark leafy greens for fabulous salads. Try these combos: strawberries and crumbled feta; pears and shaved parmesan; green apple and grated cheddar; cantaloupe and provolone; watermelon and goat cheese. Try this one to get you started. Hints Watch serving sizes when dried. Try to limit yourself to only small portions of dried fruit, because it tends to have more calories. Don’t peel out. Many of the health benefits you get from eating fruits such as apples and pears may be attributed to their peels, which contain nutrients and fiber. So after washing your fruit, keep the peel on Eat more grains.

Make whole grains a bigger part of your diet by eating 6 to 11 servings a day of whole-grain bread, cereals, rice, and pasta.

Here’s why: Foods made largely from unprocessed grains contain more fiber and micronutrients that help protect against diseases like cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, colon cancer, and gum disease. They also help you maintain a healthy weight. How? They’re absorbed more slowly than foods made from enriched or bleached flour, so they keep you fuller longer.

3 Ways to Boost Your Whole-Grain Intake

At breakfast: Eat whole-grain breakfast cereals, such as bran flakes, shredded wheat, or oatmeal. For lunch: Always make sandwiches with whole-grain breads, and cook soup and chili with barley or bulgur. With dinner: Opt for brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, or whole-wheat couscous instead of white rice or white noodles. See what having three servings of whole grains per day can do for you.

Hints Don’t be fooled by labels. Be aware that words on a label don’t always present an accurate picture of what’s inside the food. Make sure the label reads “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat.” Add some seeds. Make whole-grain bread baked with sunflower seeds part of your healthy-eating plan and you may avoid diabetes. Find out how. Test your knowledge of how whole grains work. Take this quick pop quiz! Vary your veggies.

Fill your plate with veggies -- have at least five servings every day.

For maximum benefits, go for the ones that are yellow, orange, green, or red. Bright colors mean lots of vitamins and antioxidants.

Here’s why: Think of veggies as a group of superheroes -- each with a brightly colored suit that has special health-protective powers. It’s true: Much of vegetables’ nutritional power lies in their color. Each shade has unique substances known as phytochemicals, which benefit different aspects of your health, such as your heart, immune system, memory function, and more. So start vegging out.

3 Ways to Eat More Veggies

Be a bean counter. Legumes count as vegetables. Try mild-tasting peas, and beans such as baby lima beans, chick peas (garbanzo beans), great northern (white) beans, pinto beans, lentils, and edamame (soybeans). Get sneaky. Add chopped veggies to soups, stews, meatballs, meat loaf, and spaghetti sauce. Build menus around them. Instead of making meat the focus of your meals, make veggies the center of attention. Try this hearty warm sandwich or this veggie casserole. Find more deliciously healthy recipes in the RealAge Recipe Box. Hints Dress your veggies. Pairing raw veggies with a bit of healthy fat -- like olive oil or avocado -- can help them pack a more powerful nutrient punch. Try these three other ways to dress ‘em up nutritionally. Get the biggest payoff. If you want the most phytochemicals -- compounds everyone's urged to eat because they protect against chronic diseases -- eat broccoli; it has the most. Find out what other veggies made the top 10 veggies list. Fitness “Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”

~Edward Stanley Tighten and tone.

Devote at least 90 minutes each week to exercises that build muscle strength and endurance. But slowly work up to this amount.

Judging from your answers, strength-building exercises aren’t a big part of your routine. Adding more, independent of your cardiovascular fitness level, can make your RealAge younger.

Here's why: Working your muscles can reduce hard-to-budge abdominal fat, which can be troublesome to your health. What’s more, building muscle and losing fat have hidden effects on body chemistry that may help fend off both breast and colon cancer. Read more .

Round out your workout.

Add some activities, and focus on keeping your overall workout routine well-rounded.

You’re burning close to the number of calories needed for maximum Age Reduction benefits. Not bad! Depending on your health, you may want to try adding a few other activities to your routine.

Here's why: Most people can safely burn up to 3,500 calories per week, which reduces your RealAge significantly.

2 Ways to Keep Your Workout Fresh

Visit the best gym ever. The one you live in: your body. Try this 18-move workout that uses your own body weight to strengthen and stretch your muscles (to make you stronger, leaner, and more equipped to handle the rigors of aging). Watch videos. Spend 20 minutes working out with this celebrity trainer. During each session, work as hard as you can -- that's what builds muscle.

Shed extra weight.

Follow a weight loss program you can stick with. If you’re already shedding pounds, keep up the good work.

We calculated your body mass index (BMI) to be 29.0. BMI is a measure that represents the relationship between your weight and your height. It gives us a good start when estimating health risks, but it doesn't tell the whole story. What's missing is how much fat you have, relative to your overall weight, and where that fat is on your body. Read more.

We do know, however, that unless you have considerably more muscle and less fat than most people, your RealAge is older because your weight is too high for your height.

Here's why: Carrying extra weight in the wrong places -- especially around the middle -- can lead to health complications, including diabetes, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, arthritis, abnormal lipid levels, low back pain, and an unhealthy body image. These problems can make your RealAge radically older.

4 Ways to Reach Your Optimal Weight Believe it or not, your body naturally wants to take you to your ideal weight, and the YOU: On a Diet plan is designed to help get it there. It’s based on four simple strategies:

Find a diet buddy -- someone to listen and keep you on track. Track your waist -- measure your middle, every day. Restock your fridge -- out with the bad, in with the good. Walk every day -- 30 minutes, no matter what. Here’s why. Hints Remember that waist is more important than weight. Belly fat is one of the strongest predictors of health risks associated with obesity. Ditch the scale in favor of the tape measure. Don’t go hungry. To lose weight, you need to eat several times a day. Add support. Enlist a friend, family member, or new cyberbuddy as your partner. Know that it’s okay to make mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up. As long as you get back on the right road, you won’t travel too far down the wrong one. Talk to your doctor before starting a diet. He or she may be able to help you by providing information, guidance, and ongoing medical supervision. Maintain your current heart rate.

Your heart rate is 59 beats per minute, which makes your RealAge younger because this usually indicates a young cardiovascular system.

Here’s why: It’s important to know your heart rate; it reveals not only your level of physical fitness but also the possibility of problems such as congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes, liver disease, or damage from smoking.

How to Measure Your Heart Rate

Sit and relax for 10 minutes (listen to music or read). Place your finger (not your thumb) on your opposite wrist at the pulse point, below the base of your thumb. Count the heartbeats for 10 seconds. Multiply by six. This is your heart rate per minute. Go to the Health section of the RealAge Test and enter this number. Hints Measure your resting heart rate first thing in the morning and your target heart rate at the most intense point when you’re exercising.

Ideally, your resting heart rate should be 75 beats per minute. Your target heart rate should be between 60% and 80% of your maximum heart rate (220 minus your age). Learn how to calculate your maximum heart rate. Use the RealAge Heart Rate Recovery Tool to learn more. Use a heart rate monitor, such as PolarĀ brand, and track your numbers to get the most accurate results. Stretch.

Include two or three 30-minute sessions per week of balance and flexibility exercises in your routine.

Here's why: Your muscles move, expand, and contract -- they’re meant to be stretched. Otherwise, they lose their elasticity, making everyday movement more difficult. Having greater flexibility makes it easier to work out, cope with ordinary tasks, and avoid injuries. And the exercises themselves reduce stress and tension, improve circulation, and boost concentration.

5 Ways to Build Flexibility

Do some basic stretches. Gently and slowly stretch out each major muscle group in your arms, legs, and torso, breathing deeply throughout. Vary your stretches by holding some for a few seconds (static stretching) and then moving fluidly through a few others (dynamic stretching). Learn tai chi, chi-gong, or other gentle martial arts. Practice yoga -- hatha, kundalini, Bikram, and ashtanga are four popular types. Try this yoga workout. Take Pilates classes -- they’re excellent for building flexibility as well as strength. Take up ballet or another type of dance. Hints Think of your muscles as spaghetti strands. They're pliable when they're warm but fragile when they're not. That's why it's so important to warm up your muscles by walking and swinging your arms for at least 5 minutes before beginning any exercise. Close your eyes and envision your muscles getting longer and looser whenever you stretch. Read more. Don’t go too far. Use this simple rule of thumb: If it hurts, stop. Your muscles and joints should feel loose and tired when you are done, not painful. Home | About RealAge | Health Site Map | Site Index | Privacy | Copyright, Patents, and Trademarks | Terms of Use

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Medical Disclaimer: All information on this site is of a general nature and is furnished for your knowledge and understanding only. This information is not to be taken as medical or other health advice pertaining to your specific health and medical condition.

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