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Question
Posted by: Malyssa Hattingh | 2009-08-31

Health parameters

Hi there

My friends and I are a group of 10 people, between the ages of 29 and 31. We' ve been friends since school and have come a long way together. We' re all in relationships, most married, to people in our group and my hubby and I have 2 children, a girls aged 7 and a son aged 3. Our other friends have yet to cross that bridge.

The problem is that we all lead incredibly unhealthy lifestyles, perpetuated by our eating and drinking habits when we gather socially as a group, which is usually not less than 2 or 3 times a month. Recently one of our friends sent out an e-mail, a 3-month challenge to improve our health and lifestyles. We' re to pay an entrance fee and the person who wins at the end gets the money. This will force us to re-think what we put into our systems and if we' re all party to it, the likelihood that we' ll stick to it is greater.

This is my question, though. How do we set the parameters for this challenge? I personally feel that weight loss is not the only mechanism to determine a winner, as men tend to lose more than women and 3 of our friends aren' t even overweight! We don' t want to spend a fortune on blood tests, so what can we do inexpensively to check our physical stats at the outset of our challenge, which we can use to see whether there is any improvement at the end of the challenge?

What can you recommend, bearing in mind that the person who wins will be the one determined the healthiest at the end of it?

Your input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks and regards

Malyssa

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Hi Malyssa
Interesting challenge!
I will suggest that you all get some basic data on your current health status: cholesterol, sugar levels, bloodpressure, BMI and fitness level. Most of these you can do at a pharmacy clinic with fingerprick testing. The fitness level can be done at any gym or a biokineticist. (This may be a bit of an inconvenience but good to do anyway!) I think the person with the greatest improvement in abnormal readings should be the winner. And you should give bonus points for positive actions like stopping smoking.
You could also use something like this: http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/HealthAge.html
Keep me posted!
Dr Bets

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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