Determine your real age
The Borneo Post - Sunday, 29 December, 2002
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BIA or Biolmpedance Analysis, measures a person's REAL age. That's not the number on your birth certificate but one much more confronting and revealing. A person's REAL age is an indicator of how quickly or slowly their cells are ageing an internal snapshot. We all look in the mirror lamenting our fine lines and wrinkles, but few of us give a thought to how our lifestyle affects us from the inside out. That's why BIA is pivotal; it provides information that can't be gathered in any other way especially not by standing on the bathroom scales.

The theory behind it is that the key to a person's fitness level lies in the ratio between body fat and muscles stores healthy people have more muscle than fat. BIA works by measuring the way a low dose of electrical current flows through a person's system. It's painless and quick. The idea is that lean tissues, or muscles, conduct electricity well unlike fat and bone. One of the most vital details this analysis provides is the weight of your muscles learning to build this muscle mass is the most important health skill a person can have. It's a little known equation, but good muscle mass is the most effective way to combat ageing.

To prove just how effective BIA can be, researchers embarked on a revolutionary trial. They recruited three volunteers; a mother of two, a body fitness champion and an IT professional. Each had to face the moment of cellular truth as it was revealed just how old their bodies really were.

The mother's result was confronting. At twenty-nine, she returned a real age of thirty-three, exposing the fact that her body was ageing much quicker than it should be. There were several contributing factors she'd given birth to her second child just ten weeks earlier, was breast-feeding and still carrying post pregnancy kilos. The task to slash the years seemed daunting, but bravely she took up the challenge.

The body fitness champion is forty-one years old, but her perfectly toned and sculpted form made it obvious her cells would be much younger than that. However, even the researchers were shocked as she registered a biological age of thirty­three. With an internal report card worthy of five gold starts, there was only one obstacle to her excellent health an extreme high level of fluid retention. Her mission over the coming months would be to reduce this by half.

The IT professional, whose BIA chart showed general good health and a real age of forty nine as opposed to his actual age of fifty two, had a very different task ahead of him. Business lunches and overseas travel made healthy eating difficult and at ninety-five kilos, he was six kilos too heavy. Coupled with a lack of regular exercise, he needed to skip the corporate dinners, drink less of his favourite wine, avoid dessert and get active!

Researchers devised a two pronged diet and exercise approach for each. The first volunteer needed to get fit by doing more cardiovascular activity which would also help with weight loss and detoxification, so running, swimming, and aerobics were recommended.