Personal Health: How Healthy Do You Think You Are?

Dec 10, 2014 by Suzanne Zilkowsky | lifestyle

More than 45 mllion Americans now belong to a health club, and $19 billion a year is spent on gym memberships. Unfortunately, some people will join a gym, but never make it through the front door. Still, as one major study – the Minnesota Heart Survey – found, more of us at least say we exercise regularly. The survey ran from 1980, when only 47% of respondents said they engaged in regular exercise, to 2000, when the figure had grown to 57%. And yet obesity figures have risen dramatically in the same period: a third of Americans are obese, and another third count as overweight by the Federal Government's definition.

According to Forbes, Canada ranks 35 on a 2007 list of fattest countries with a percentage of 61.1% of its citizens with an unhealthy weight. Furthermore, Canadian acute care hospitals handled almost three million (2.8 million) hospitalizations in 2004, a slight increase from the previous year and approximately 14% less than in 1995.

When most people think about health they conjure up images that are related to physical health. Physical health is anything that has to do with our bodies as a physical entity. With so much information about physical health it is often difficult to determine what is current and relevant. This personal health assessment examines the physical aspect of your life – how you are nurturing your body and taking care of your health.

Key: 1 = Almost never | In between would be 2-4 | 5 = Almost always

1.) I get a restful seven to eight hours sleep at least four nights a week.

Choose one: 1 2 3 4 5

2.) I am involved in enjoyable exercise at least 3 times a week, for a duration of 20+ minutes (with elements of flexibility, aerobics and strength).

Choose one: 1 2 3 4 5

3.) I am a non-smoker.

Choose one: 1 2 3 4 5

4.) I abstain from alcoholic beverages.

Choose one: 1 2 3 4 5

5.) I am in good health (eg. including eyesight, hearing, teeth).

Choose one: 1 2 3 4 5

6.) I appreciate my body. My body is the weight that is right for me.

Choose one: 1 2 3 4 5

7.) I stay away from caffeinated beverages (including coffee, tea, cola drinks).

Choose one: 1 2 3 4 5

8.) I eat a balanced diet, low in refined carbohydrates, processed food.

Choose one: 1 2 3 4 5

9.) I sit down to my meals, eat slowly, and take time to enjoy them.

Choose one: 1 2 3 4 5

10.) I have ample energy to accomplish what needs to be done in a day.

Choose one: 1 2 3 4 5

11.) I would describe myself as being in good health (eg. no chronic conditions, headaches, lingering colds, the flu, etc.).

Choose one: 1 2 3 4 5

12.) I drink at least 2 litres of water a day.

Choose one: 1 2 3 4 5

13.) I get regular medical examinations with a health care professional that I trust.

Choose one: 1 2 3 4 5

14.) My blood pressure is good.

Choose one: 1 2 3 4 5

15.) I protect my skin from lengthy exposure to the sun.

Choose one: 1 2 3 4 5

Add up all of your choices: ________ Total

If you scored under 40, there is reason for concern. Here are some tips that you may want to incorporate into your life.

  • Join a gym
  • Find a person who will support you to start a habit of taking better care of yourself through better nutrition and regular exercise.
  • Try getting more rest and quiet time in a day.
  • Sign up for a relaxation, Yoga or Meditation class.
  • Take time to go for a walk outside on your lunch for some fresh air and exercise.
  • Take time to reflect on what is blocking you from taking better care of your body.

Author: Suzanne Zilkowsky

As the founder of Vancouver Health Coach, Suzanne brings a unique blend of experience gained working in the health industry for over 20 years. Her coaching offers an individualized process to help you move forward in life. She provides coaching tools and assists with strategies to promote self-discovery and the exploration of different perspectives to help inspire you to reach your health and wellness goals. She has had great success with her clients by taking a holistic approach to health. Suzanne believes every individual requires support, knowledge and compassion to achieve great health and wellness.