I consider myself a generally fit and healthy person. I work out four to five times a week, get at least three servings of fruit a day, and I try to make sure that at least one of my meals on weekdays is a salad.
But I’m not without my flaws. Though I rarely eat rice, pasta or bread, I have an overindulgent sweet tooth. My favorite breakfast foods are refined carbs like pancakes, ensaymada and croissants. At buffets, I think nothing of having seconds when it comes to the dessert spread. A bar of chocolate is a constant on my bedside table.
Still, I believed the good I was doing outweighed the bad.
However, when I took a series of tests to measure my fitness level, the amount of visceral fat in my body, and whether I was getting enough Vitamin D, I was shocked that I didn’t pass any of them. Though my BMI has always been in the normal range and the results of my executive checkup showed no causes for alarm, it made me think: How many of us overestimate how healthy we really are?
It just goes to show you that no matter how good you look on the outside, physical appearances aren’t necessarily indicative of what’s going on inside your body. If you want a better idea of how your body is doing, here are three easy, affordable tests you can take.
Test4D Vitamin D deficiency
A 2013 study conducted by the Philippine College of Occupational Medicine and the Philippine Neurological Association revealed that seven out of 10 Filipinos are vitamin D-deficient. I’m sun-averse and slather sunblock every two hours to prevent wrinkles and skin cancer, so it was no surprise that my body lacked vitamin D.
Vitamin D is important, particularly for women, because it helps the body absorb calcium, and not getting enough could very well lead to osteoporosis. Recent studies also show that diabetes, Alzheimer’s and even cancer are linked to inadequate levels of vitamin D in the body.
The Test4D Vitamin D test kit has a test accuracy of 97 percent, takes just 10 minutes, and the service only costs P1,300. Once you know whether you’re deficient or not, you can increase your intake of vitamin D by getting 10-15 minutes of sun exposure every midday, eating vitamin D rice foods (mushrooms, oily fish, eggs) and taking daily supplements.
To know more about the Test4D Vitamin D test, visit BioBalance Wellness Institute (www.biobalanceinstitute.com).
This test takes just a few minutes to analyze your body in five ways: Body Composition Analysis is the sum of your Body Fat Mass and Lean Body Mass, which is made up of Dry Lean Mass and Total Body Water. Obesity Analysis shows the percent of body fat compared to body weight. Segmental Lean Analysis evaluates whether the muscles in your body are adequately developed. Extracellular Water to Total Body Water Analysis indicates water balance in the body. Visceral Fat Level estimates the amount of fat surrounding internal organs in the abdomen.
To give you a general idea of how my results turned out, my Body Fat Analysis showed that I had to lose 19.4 pounds of Body Fat Mass, and gain 8.8 pounds of Lean Body Mass. In addition to that, my Visceral Fat Level was borderline at level 10! Maintaining a Visceral Fat Level under 10 is needed to stay healthy.
While some people (including myself) would find this news disheartening, especially considering how often I work out, I appreciate knowing exactly what my goals are. Suddenly, losing body fat is less about getting a bikini body and more about taking control of my health. This test is well worth your time at just P1,000.
To know more about InBody Analysis, visit BioBalance Wellness Institute (www.biobalanceinstitute.com).
BioScore by Fitness First
Out of all the tests I put myself through, I was so sure I would pass this one with flying colors. BioScore by Fitness First includes a Metabolic Health Test, which looks at key vital statistics including height to waist ratio, lung function and blood pressure; a Fitness Test, a series of simple exercises to asses aerobic fitness, power, strength, flexibility, agility and core endurance; and a Lifestyle Test, which is a questionnaire that looks at your nutrition, stress levels, and sleep and drinking habits.
The test is P1,500 for Fitness First members, and P1,995 for nonmembers.
All three tests are combined to determine your body’s biological age compared with your chronological age. Sadly, my BioScore was (+0.5), which meant my body was actually half a year older than my chronological age! Again, this news is frustrating because I thought I was really fit already.
However, what’s good about this test is that every component is broken down to see which areas you did well at and which ones you need to improve upon. So rather than picking out an arbitrary number on the lower end of the weighing scale, my goals have become more specific. What could be better motivation than that?