The 4 numbers you should know for better health

There is nothing more important in life than your health, so don’t roll the dice.

Your Health IS your Wealth

It’s likely you know how much money you have in the bank, and it SHOULD be just as likely that you know a few key numbers about your health. Read on to see if you know YOUR numbers.

1. Resting Heart Rate

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT: It reflects the health and efficiency of your circulatory system (heart and blood vessels).

Knowing your baseline heart rate is important.  You can check it in the morning before getting out of bed, I do. Things you should note about your heart rate are rate and regularity.

woman just waking up
Good morning. This is a great time to check your resting heart rate.

Sometimes if you are not feeling well, your heart rate may be a bit faster. You want to note a CHANGE in your heart rate. Sometimes if it is faster than normal, there may be an infection, or you may be on a new medication. Pay attention to your heart.

Runners like myself often use our resting heart rate to gauge if we should go out for a run when we are not feeling well. Sometimes it can be a simple cold or something more serious. Our heart rate can give us some guiding information.   Generally when you have a cold your heart rate does not elevate (unless you are taking cold medication), but if you have an infection (think flu) the rate increase.  That is my gauge to determine if I am going to run or not when I don’t feel well.

Heart rate recommendations stat that it should be between 50-70 beats per minute.  Of course if you are on medications, that may be lower or higher – so always check with your healthcare provider. Go to my references below for my blog on heart rate to learn how to check your heart rate and a few more pearls of information.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Look for changes once you have your baseline.

2. Waist Size

WHAT IT MEASURES: It’s an estimate of internal fat. 

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT: A large waist size means you’re probably carrying around visceral fat, which is the fat that surrounds your internal organs. Think beer belly. This type of fat can be deadly as it  produces toxic chemicals called cytokines, which inhibit cell sensitivity, impact cholesterol, and contributes to insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease.  

Go to the reference section below for my blog on your waist and how to measure yours and what it means.

AIM FOR: A waist circumference that’s less than half your height. So if you’re six feet tall, or 72 inches, make sure yours is 36 inches or less.

3. Blood Pressure

WHAT IT MEASURES: The pressure exerted on artery walls when your heart contracts (called systolic pressure, the top number) and the pressure when your heart relaxes (or diastolic, the bottom figure).

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT : High blood pressure is often associated with cardiovascular disease.  Prolonged high blood pressure, or hypertension can lead to damaged blood vessels throughout your body that can affect many of your organs.

AIM FOR: The most recent guidelines for Blood Pressure is 120/80 or lower. Know your numbers.

4. Sleep

HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED: For people >65 yrs, it is recommended that you get 7-8 hours per night.

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT: Sleep plays a vital role in your health and well-being. While you’re sleeping your body is working to support your brain health and physical health.  You can’t catch up on your sleep, it must be part of your daily life. People that don’t get enough sleep can have problems with decision making and problem solving.  There may also be issues with behavior when there is inadequate sleep.

Know your numbers so you know when something is wrong.





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Sandi Feaster