HPI in the Media
The Nevada Senior Community Guide, March 2008
STORIES ON HEALTH
A Swedish Approach To A Healthy Lifestyle
A Health Assessment used by Volvo and Sony Ericsson measures skeletal mass and encourages baby steps toward feeling better
Remember that kid in school who was considered “big boned”? Although it seemed a poor excuse to explain a childhood friend’s obvious hefty physique, a company in Sweden as taken a person’s bones into consideration when determining their healthy weight range.
This health assessment, which has been used for more than 35 years in Sweden, calculates a person’s skeletal mass to identify his or her healthy weight range. Calculating skeletal mass is done by measuring the wrists and knees and is more accurate than using a body mass index. This unique assessment in now used by the Health Profile Institute, Inc. which recently opened its U.S. headquarters in Henderson, NV
But before contemplating your “big boned” status, remember that weight alone is not the absolute measure of good health.
Like many aspects of life, balance is the key. The Swedish health assessment also evaluates a person’s physical fitness capacity by using a six-minute, low impact, bicycle test, and reviews specific lifestyle habits revealed in a brief questionnaire. And to be successful in any changes, motivation is a must.
However, unlike the U.S. approach of quitting bad habits immediately and completely, the Swedish method employs incremental “baby” steps toward improved heath. They advocate that even small changes will have a great impact in the log run.
For example, if you eat fast food meals four times a week and want to loose weight, the Swedish method will encourage you to try and eat those meals only three times each week. A few weeks later, try to eat fast food only twice each week. Naturally, you’ll be asked to replace those meals with healthier selection, but the effects will not just appear on the scale. You may begin to experience more energy, which could lead to faster fat loss and better sleeping patterns.
Incorporating exercise is important to your health and the health assessment also uses a six minute cardiovascular test to measure your capabilities and needs. Exercise however, does not mean living at the gym and lifting weights until you raise your arms. Exercise can be walking across the parking lot to the store, cleaning the house, gardening, or chasing after the kids or grandkids. Physical activity not only helps you burn fat, it can improve your moods, and increase our energy level.
By using the Swedish health assessment, now available in the United States through the Health Profile Institute, attention is paid to multiple facets that contribute to your overall health and how you feel about your health. And feeling good can contribute to looking good.
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