5 Health Numbers You Should Know and Understand

Health Numbers You Should Know and Understand

Know your numbers! These 5 numbers can be a key to your good health – and what you weigh can have a big impact on those numbers. Here’s numbers you should know and why you should lose extra pounds.

1. How many Calories to You Need in a Day? This is a number that sets the needle on the scale. If you’re taking in more calories than you need, you’re putting on extra weight and that can have a big negative impact on your health. In general, women need about 2000 and men about 2550. Multiple your weight by a 13, 14 or 15 (base the one you choose on your activity level) and you’ll have a good estimate of the calories you need for your lifestyle and your weight.

2. How Big is Your Waist? When you carry fat around your waist and belly, it is one of the biggest risks. These fat cells may increase inflammatory chemicals and make it harder for you to control your appetite. The risk of heart attacks increases and you are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. A woman’s waist should be under 35 inches and a man’s under 40 inches. You can also look at the ratio between your waist and hips. That ratio should be more than .90 inches in men and .85 inches in women.

3. What are Your LDL and HDL Numbers? You should know your total cholesterol numbers, but you also want to pay attention the levels of the bad (LDL) cholesterol and the good (HDL). These numbers are impacted by your weight and very important to your heart health. Give them the attention they deserve.

4. High Blood Pressure? Have you wondered what blood pressure is? It’s the force of the blood against the walls of your arteries. It is normal for it to go up and down during a day, but when it remains high the risk of stroke and heart disease increases. Called hypertension, if elevated blood pressure is at a dangerous level, it is treated by your doctor with medicines. However, exercise and maintaining a normal weight have a positive effect on your blood pressure.

5. Do You take your Pulse? It has something to tell you. Taking your pulse when you wake up will give you your resting heart rate. If you’re working out and you are strengthening your heart, you should see your pulse rate decrease. A normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 90 beats a minute.

Your weight plays a role in all your numbers. A Harvard study of 50,000 men and 120,000 women over 10 years showed that obesity increased the risk of diabetes about 20 times. High blood pressure is seen more often in people who are overweight. The American Heart Association showed that just 22 pounds of excess weight raises blood pressure to the point where there is a 24% increase in stroke risk. Control your weight! If you are overweight, get help. Consider going to a medical weight loss center where you can get a personalized diet plan that addresses a fast start, losing excess pounds and maintaining a healthy weight once you have reached your goal. Professional weight loss personnel and a bariatric doctor have all the resources to help you succeed. Take charge of your numbers and your weight!