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Jan 25

Health & Fitness 101: Know Your Numbers

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Chances are you know your weight. You may even know your BMI. But do you know your waist circumference, blood pressure, resting heart rate, or cholesterol levels? More importantly, do you know the healthy ranges and health risks you may face if you are beyond the recommended healthy ranges? If you are like most, the answer is no, and you are missing essential information needed for effective health and fitness planning.

 

 

 

Weight:
We all periodically step on the scale to see how much we weigh. We may be satisfied with that number or (as in many cases) have another number that we are striving towards. But where did those numbers come from? Are you already in the healthy range, on the right track, or have more weight to lose than anticipated. CLICK HERE to determine your healthy weight range based on height, frame, and gender.

Body Mass Index (BMI):
BMI is calculated based on weight and height. Generally speaking, the higher your BMI, the more body fat you are carrying. BMI is frequently used to assess if your weight may be putting you at risk for health problems including diabetes and heart disease.

Ranges:

  • Underweight: < 18.5
  • Normal weight: 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight: 25 to 29.9
  • Obese: 30 or more

CLICK HERE to check your BMI.




Waist Circumference:
Grab a tape measure and measure you waist right above the hip bone. Your waist should be less than 35 inches for women and less than 40 inches for men. Greater than these numbers is an indicator for metabolic syndrome, which is a group of risk factors that increase your risk for developing diabetes and heart disease.

Blood Pressure (BP):
Blood pressure is the pressure utilized by blood circulated within the walls of blood vessels. BP tends to vary based on situation, activity, and disease states. However, the normal resting blood pressure for an adult is approximately 120/80.

Resting Heart Rate:
Your resting heart rate is the beats per minute when you have not done a lot of activity. It is your heart rate when you just wake up in the morning or when you are sitting and/or conducting minimal activity. The normal range is 60-100 beats per minute. If your resting heart rate is regularly outside of this range, you may wish to contact your health care provider.

A quick way to determine your heart rate is to place two fingers on your wrist, count your pulse for 15 seconds, and then multiply by 4. Alternatively, there are a number of great fitness trackers available that can be used. Personally, I use a Fitbit Charge HR.

Cholesterol:
Cholesterol has many natural functions. It is manufactured by the body and is also consumed from food. The desired level for total cholesterol is less than 200 mg/dL, borderline high is between 200-239 mg/dL and high is 240 mg/dL or above.

Breaking this down further, here are the ranges for LDL and HDL:

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – “bad” cholesterol

  • Optimal: <100 mg/dL
  • Borderline high: 130 – 159 mg/dL
  • High: 160 – 189 mg/dL

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) – “good” cholesterol

  • Optimal: < 40 mg/dL
  • High: 60 mg/dL or above





Dietary Guidelines
The  2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans was recently released with a  focus on eating more of some foods and nutrients, less of others, and following a healthy eating pattern.

Some highlights include:

  • Sodium – consume less than 2300mg per day
  • Sugar – consume less than 50 grams per day
  • Vegetables – eat 2½ cups of a wide variety of vegetables from all subgroups of colors and starches each day.
  • Consume protein rich foods
  • Eat a healthy American, Mediterranean or vegetarian diet

Check out the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans for more detailed information.

The information presented here was solely to provide a general overview and awareness. Knowing your numbers and recommended dietary guidelines can serve as a foundation for living and leading a healthy lifestyle. If you have specific questions or particular concerns, it is always a good idea to consult with your healthcare practitioner to discuss the best way to manage your health and fitness needs.

– Wishing you continued success in your fitness journey!

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Copyright 2016 Nichole Michele