Friday, June 5, 2009

How Healthy Is Your Lifestyle? ~ Take This Test!

How Healthy is Your Lifestyle?

Directions: Put a check beside each statement that applies to you. Tally the number of checks at the end of each section. Then, at the end, add all sections together to get your total score.

1. Alcohol

___ If you do not drink, score 5 here and move to question #2
___ I drink less than 2 drinks a day.
___ In the past year, I have not driven an automobile after having more than 2 drinks.
___ When I am under stress, I do not drink more.
___ I do not do things when I am drinking that I later regret.
___ I have not experienced any problem because of my drinking in the past.

2. Tobacco use

___ If you have never smoked cigarettes, score 5 here and move to question #3
___ I haven’t smoked cigarettes in the past year.
___ I do not use any form of tobacco (pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco).
___ I smoke only low tar and nicotine cigarettes.
___ I smoke less than one pack of cigarettes a day.

3. Blood Pressure

___ I had my blood pressure checked within the last six months.
___ I never had high blood pressure.
___ I do not currently have high blood pressure.
___ I make a conscious effort to avoid salt in my diet.
___ There is no history of high blood pressure in my family.

4. Weight/Body Fat

___ According to height and weight charts, my weight is average for my height.
___ I have not needed to be on a weight-reduction diet in the past year.
___ There is no place on my body that I can pinch an inch of fat.
___ I am satisfied with the way my body looks.
___ None of my family, friends or health care professionals has urged me to lose weight.
5. Physical Fitness

___ I do some form of vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes three or more days a week.
___ My resting pulse is 70 beats a minute or less.
___ I don’t get fatigued easily while doing physical work.
___ I engage in some recreational sport such as tennis or swimming on a weekly basis.
___ I would say that my level of physical fitness is higher than most people in my age group.
Score ___

6. Stress/Anxiety Level

___ I find it easy to relax.
___ I am able to cope with stressful events as well as or better than most people.
___ I do not have trouble falling asleep or waking up.
___ I rarely feel tense or anxious.
___ I have no trouble completing tasks I have started.

7. Automobile Safety

___ I always use seat belts when I drive.
___ I always use seat belts when I am a passenger.
___ I have not had a speeding ticket or other moving violation for the past three years.
___ I never ride with a driver who has had more than two drinks.

8. Relationships

___ I am satisfied with my social relationships.
___ I have a lot of close friends.
___ I am able to share my feelings with my spouse and/or other family members.
___ When I have a problem, I have other people with whom I can talk it over.
___ Given a choice between doing things by myself or with others, I usually choose to do things with others.

9. Rest and Sleep

___ I almost always get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night.
___ I wake up few, if any, times during the night.
___ I feel rested and ready to go when I get up in the morning.
___ Most days, I have a lot of energy.
___ Even though I sometimes have a chance, I never take naps during the day.

10. Life satisfaction

___ If I had my life to live over, I wouldn’t make very many changes.
___ I’ve accomplished most of the things that I’ve set out to do in my life.
___ I can’t think of an area in my life that really disappoints me.
___ I am a happy person.
___ As compared to the people with whom I grew up, I feel I’ve done as well or better than most of them with my life.

Total Score = _____

Interpreting Your Score

A score of 40-50 ………………………..Healthier than average lifestyle
A score of 25-39 ………………………..Average lifestyle
A score of 0-25 …………………............Below average: need for overall improvement
Scores of less than 3 in any one area……Need for improvement in that area.

Learn to Handle Stress
Stress is a normal part of living. Everyone faces it to some degree. The causes of stress can be good or bad, desirable or undesirable (such as a promotion on the job or the loss of a spouse). Properly handled, stress need not be a problem. But unhealthy responses to stress – such as driving too fast or erratically, drinking too much, or prolonged anger or grief – can cause a variety of physical and mental problems. Even on a busy day, find a few minutes to slow down and relax. Talking over a problem with someone you trust can often help you find a satisfactory solution. Learn to distinguish between things that are “worth fighting about” and things that are less important.

Be Safety Conscious
Think “safety first” at home, work, school, play, and on the highway. Buckle seat belts and obey traffic rules. Keep poisons and weapons out of reach of children, and emergency numbers by your telephone. When the unexpected happens, you’ll be prepared.

Start by asking yourself a few frank questions. Am I really doing all I can to be as healthy as possible? What steps can I take to feel better? Am I willing to begin now? If you scored low in one or more sections of the test, decide what changes you want to make for improvement. You might pick that aspect of your lifestyle where you feel you have the bets chance for success and tackle that one first. Once you have improved your score there, go on to other areas.

If you already have tried to change your health habits (e.g., stop smoking or exercise regularly), don’t be discouraged if you haven’t yet succeeded. The difficulty you have encountered may be due to influences you’ve never thought about (such as advertising) or to a lack of support and encouragement. Understanding these influences is an important step toward changing the way they affect you.

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