April 02, 2009

Find Your "Real" Real Age

Have you taken the "Real Age" test? It's that site where you sign up and answer a bunch of family history and lifestyle questions. Then the site figures your health risks and tells you how old you "really" are.

Twenty seven million people have taken it so far. And it's energetically pushed by Oprah's pal, Dr. Mehmet Oz.

But go read Charlotte's recent post over at the Great Fitness Experiment. Oh my goodness! Turns out the Real Age people are in bed with the supplement manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies. For example, Charlotte says that test penalizes people if they don't take Vitamin E supplements, which scientists have been telling us NOT to do for several years now. Oh, and guess what? The Real Age people sell your personal information to drug companies!


So since the "Real Age" test has been revealed as a marketing ploy, and is also a long-ass test that goes on forever (I never made it through), I thought we needed a shorter, "realer," Real Age test.

Note: if you take the Cranky Fitness Real Age Test, we promise we won't sell any of your information to drug companies!

So, would you like to know how old Cranky Fitness thinks you are?

Here's the deal: The official Real Age Test adjusts your current chronological age by all the factors it can find that might affect how long you're going to live--if you were a statistic and not a person.

The problem with that? You're a person! And you can eat right, stop smoking, floss your teeth, drink green tea, and do every damn thing you're supposed to and still get mowed down by a runaway Krispy Kreme truck as you're coming out of the gym from your Zumba class tomorrow.

So predicting life span is kind of a crapshoot.

On the other hand, statistics aren't totally useless. We know that certain behaviors are probably going to catch up with us eventually, otherwise, wouldn't we be eating a whole lot more ice cream and a whole lot less spinach? I know I would.

It's a dilemma: how to balance having a happy life with having a long one. This test, therefore, takes a totally different approach to discovering your "real age."

Note: feel free to pick more than one answer, or ignore questions that don't apply. It's a very flexible test!

The Cranky Fitness "Real" Real Age Test

1. When I go to the grocery store, I sometimes succumb to the temptation to:

a. Shoplift candy, because it's free that way!

b. "Ride" the full grocery cart back to the car when I'm done shopping, because it's fun! Even though I suppose if I lost control I could hit someone's car and have to pay to get it fixed, and boy, would I feel silly then.

c. Be a bit extravagant and buy some fresh exotic, expensive kind of organic produce I haven't tried before, even if it means I'll have to scrimp on other purchases.

d. Get snippy with that cashier who has the nose piercings--he's so slow and lazy, plus he mumbles so I can never hear what he's saying!

2. You visit an out-of-town friend, who drags you to a baseball game featuring two teams you don't give a crap about. (If you are a big Sports Fan, then just pretend there are teams you don't give a crap about). Despite your reluctance to go, you find you have a great time anyway because...

a. You drink 4 beers and cut in line for the bathroom (because you REALLY need to go), and get in a shoving match with some nutjob who has a problem waiting just two more freakin' minutes, but then when the ballpark security guard escorts you outside it turns out you he used to live in your hometown and you went to high school with him! So you both get stoned together after the game and catch up on old times.

b. The game is a close one; all the sights, sounds, smells are exhilarating; the hot dog and ice cream you buy as a treat really hit the spot; and the excitement in the stands is contagious!

c. A knowledegable fan explains some of the subtle intricacies of the game to you that you hadn't appreciated before; plus you discover they have some new specialty food stands with much healthier options than normal ball-park fare.

d. At a baseball game, turns out you can just sit and relax for hours and hours and vendors will come bring you food so you don't have to get up and get your own like you do at home!

3. My LEAST favorite thing about going to the beach is:

a. Sometimes those dumb warnings about riptides and dangerous conditions turn out to be true; I hate getting rescued by the life guards all the time! I probably really should learn how to swim some day. But whatever.

b. The only thing I hate is having to go home when the day is done!

c. Needing reapply SPF 90 sunscreen every hour, or every time I go swimming, or start to sweat. As much as I love the sunshine and sparkling water and fresh air, I really don't want skin cancer.

d. The people! The kids are brats; the men are drunk and rowdy; and the women barely have anything on and clearly have no shame.

4. You're a guest at a wedding and it turns out there's a live band and dancing at the reception. You came by yourself and only know the bride; you're basically faced with a room full of strangers. However, the dance floor is packed, people are having fun, and a friendly but unattractive person next to you says "Oh, I love this song! Um, any chance you wanna dance?" As it turns out, you love this song too! What do you do next?

a. Say "Sorry." Then go find a more attractive person to dance with, quickly, because you don't want to miss your favorite song!

b. Put aside some momentary shyness, say, "Sure!" and then have a blast dancing and meeting new people the rest of the evening.

c. Assess the condition of your knees, back, hips, and shoulders, the slipperiness of the floor, the amount of alcohol you've consumed, and the relative risk of injury versus the social awkwardness of declining. They say either "Yes, I'd love to!" or "Oh, I'm so sorry, but my doctor would kill me if I threw out my back again. Thank you SO much for asking, I sure wish I could join you!" Then enjoy the great music and the evening anyway, even if you can't do it from the dance floor.

d. Who would ever ask ME to dance? That's crazy talk. And even if it did happen, I'd feel too foolish out on the dance floor. Just because everyone else is willing to make an ass of themselves doesn't mean I have to too.

5. If somehow you won a trip to Paris for a week, with airfare and hotel totally paid for, what would you do?

a. Charge my credit cards to the limit buying cool Parisian designer clothes and accessories that will impress all my friends; eat all the fancy French pastry I could hold; spend the evenings drinking in night clubs trying to score with sexy locals; and, hey, don't they have a Disneyland too? I bet I could sneak in, those French folks are probably way lax on security.

b. Wow, Paris??? I'd love to try some of the great restaurants, see the sights, maybe rent a scooter and check out the happening neighborhoods, and just soak up every new experience I can!

c. Well, depending on my budget and the exchange rate, I'd love to sample the gourmet food (especially if I can find some healthier restaurants, and of course there are the local produce markets!) And it would lovely to see some of the world-famous museums, do some window-shopping, and get plenty of exercise by walking around town and admiring the architecture and the ambiance. Do they have gyms there?

d. Paris? Why would anyone want to go to Paris! I've heard it's hard to find a decent hamburger and it's dirty and the people are rude and they all like to pretend they don't speak English just to be snotty. They've got a perfectly good "Paris" in Las Vegas, for goodness sake, with all-you-can-eat-buffets. Why can't they send me there instead of France?


Mostly A's?-- You are a Child! And not in a Good way.

(Note: it is unlikely any regular reader of Cranky Fitness fits this category, but you may know folks like this).

Childhood is great for actual children! But those who spend their adulthood without benefit of impulse control, appreciation of consequences, or respect for others are a pain to be around. They also tend to do enough dumb things so they are unlikely to live to a happy (chronologically) old age.

Recommendations for Children: Consider being nicer to people! Also, you might want to familiarize yourself with principles of "cause" and "effect." A real eye-opener.

Mostly B's?-- You are a Youthful Adult.

No matter what your age, you embody the positive features we associate with youth as well as the common sense that comes with adulthood. You are flexible and open-minded and you appreciate new experiences, while tempering your adventures with empathy for others and a reasonable appreciation of consequences.

Recommendations for Youthful Adults: Keep loving life! As you get "older," you may want to incorporate additional efforts to ensure longevity into your daily routine. (If you also liked some "C" answers, you're probably already doing so). You don't want to miss out on any extra fun years you might have coming to you. So gradually incorporate more healthy habits as you learn about them, but don't make yourself miserable trying to do everything right.

Mostly C's?--You are a Mature Adult

This is great too! You have a more subtle, cerebral, quieter, but no less intense appreciation of life than more youthful, exhuberant types. You are careful with others' feelings and mindful of consequences. Though cautious about your health and finances, you try to balance concerns about the future with enjoyment of the present.

Recommendations for Mature Adults: Keep an eye out that your cautious tendencies don't get out of control and keep you from enjoying the moment. It's a slippery slope from "careful" to "stick-in-the-mud." (An expression which all of a sudden sounds really weird. What stick? What mud? Are we supposed to want that stick, but we can't get it because it's stuck in the mud? Why blame the stick? Or are we blaming the mud? And why do we even want a stupid muddy stick in the first place?)

Anyway. If you were wavering between C's and B's, then you probably get the idea. We need to balance enjoying life now with ensuring we get a lot more years of it in the future.

Mostly D's? You are a Crotchety Old Fart.

Again, not a typical Cranky Fitness reader, although I can see why the "Cranky" aspect might appeal.

No matter what their actual age, folks who are "D's" embody the worst stereotypes of aging. (Most actual old people are not Crotchety Old Farts.)

Crotchety Old Farts are impatient, judgmental, overly concerned with appearances, reluctant to try new things, and like nothing better than to sit on their butts and say mean things about other people. Note: despite my Crabby nature, I am not actually a C.O.F.--or at least I don't think I am!

Recommendation for Crotchety Old Farts: Stop complaining so much and go out and have some fun!

So did anyone make it all the way to the end of the Cranky Fitness "Real" Real Age Test? At least it wasn't 150 questions! If so, thanks for playing, and how did you do? Know any Children or Old Farts?


  1. Great Post! Thanks for the giggle...and the info that I'm a youthful young adule

  2. you are so freakin funny, Oh Cranky.

    and creative.

    MEHMET who?

    O needs YOU.

  3. You have a marvelous way with words, and you are too funny.
    Love this blog.
    And love your test.

  4. Fun quiz. According to the results I am both youthful and mature. Split personality?

  5. I had an even mix of B and D though I had a C. Your test makes the most sense, despite my result.

  6. I loved it!

    I managed to get mostly B's, and one C and a D, which sounds like me.

  7. hahaha LOVE your test! Because you provided the link and apparently I have some free time, I took the 'real age test' and it had me at .5 months younger than I am. What? LOL I like yours better!

  8. Thanks guys!

    And how funny that there are D's! I think I designed it so that most folks would get B's and C's--I think it's hilarious that Cranky Old Fartitude is a strong contender too. Guess I shouldn't be surprised; this is Cranky Fitness after all.

  9. Much better than 150 questions!

    Turns out I'm a crochety young adult!! Hehehehehe ("Hey young stud, wanna go make out behind the bleachers?").... err, um.....

    Had mostly B and D answers - weird, huh?

  10. I don't care how old people think I am. Or drug companies. I know that I'll die younger because I smoked for many years, and because I'm over 100 pounds overweight (working on!). I'm disabled and there are days I can barely move around, but my kid and hubby and puppy help me feel a little younger.

    Enjoy your take on this! Vee at www.veegettinghealthy.blogspot.com

  11. LOL!!

    I just take the number of supplement pills I take in a week, divide that by 2, then subtract the number of miles I run per day, and, bingo..Real Age!

  12. Wonderful test Crabby. I know this took much thought to develop. The wit is fantastic.

    As a "Donny Downer" I always worry about data begin captured on sites such as the Real Age test. Answering that many questions leads me to believe that there is some marketing firm behind it. Tread with caution, and if you want to know what age you are look at a calendar.

  13. Lol. That's awesome. I can always count on y'all for am entertainment. (My D was for the beach question...dang whipper snappers ;)

  14. This is so clever! I love it. I actually laughed out loud when I went and reread some of the questions after looking at the scoring. (Esp. the Ds. Soooo funny.) Evidently I am a young adult-- which I also am, chronological-age wise. And yes: why would I want to be younger? Thank goodness for a little maturity!

  15. Great post. Frustrating that Real Age is selling us out like that!

  16. Hooray for Crotchety Old Farts! :)

  17. Came out a young adult. Which is exactly how I feel inside, even though I know I'm 57.

    thanks for a great quiz. So much better than the lecture I got at the end of the other real age test.

  18. how childish :) Love it.. thanx i needed that

    gp in mt

  19. I apparently too ahve a multiple personality disorder.
    We all like cupcakes, so it's OK.

  20. Too funny! ;-)

    I can't believe the whole real age crap. And I liked Dr. Oz, too! :-(

    I think that even if you keep up with healthy habits, you can still end up very sick. Life is unpredictable like that.

  21. Hi Crabby,

    I took the Real Age test and now feel duped.

    I took the Cranky Fitness test and stated laughing so I didn't even chose any answers. Laughter is good for people so I guess no matter what my real age is, I will live to be a hundred.


  22. You are amazingly funny & creative!
    So fun & thank god, despite my age, I am not a crotchety old fart! B's and C's for me.. mostly! Thx for the laughs!

  23. I like the real age quiz for the sole reason it said I was 8 years younger than I am. LOL

  24. Great quiz Crabby. I am a crochety youthful mature person.

  25. If I answer mostly "None of the above" does it mean I'm already dead? Or not born yet? The Paris one was the only one I could pick an answer for, and that one was evenly divided between B and C.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  26. Hehehe this was funny. I'm a youthful adult with mature tendencies. My guilt conscious is too strong to try to sneak into Disneyland... hehe.

  27. Mostly B's, two C's. I guess I am younger than I think at almost 52.

    The baseball game thing actually pretty well DID happen to me, only it was my boyfriend and his sister and niece and nephew who dragged me there. And the game went into overtime and we barely caught the last BART train out of San Francisco.

  28. I like your quiz MUCH better! But I think you should really consider starting up a Cranky Fitness "newsletter/advertorial" You could push products like whoopee cushions and squirting flowers;)

  29. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  30. This is SO cool! Um, I guess the young folk say "chill" now, LOL!

    I got all Bs, Yay! except for wavering on the D for the beach question, mostly because I live in a beach town and we can't really get near the water in the summer for the tourist crowds, but that's okay, there is only so much coastline and it is there to be shared!

    Thanks for the insight you put into this, it's genius !

  31. This is great. I always get a laugh here, Cranky.

  32. I took the test, it says I'm 22 {really I'm 26}... hmm not to shabby. But it says I work out "too much" ha! hardly.

  33. Crabby, if you've never read Mark Morford's hilarious online columns on the San Francisco Chronicle's online www.sfgate, I think you've got a treat in store because he samples the same muse as thee:
    The most recent starts: "Seven billion eager souls later, you'd think we'd have it sort of figured out. Seven billion mewling, wailing, weirdly miraculous babies in to this bizarre human experiment, you'd think someone would finally understand something of the true nature of ..."
    And he also teaches Hatha Yoga!
    I'm not a paid shill... just a fan.



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