Four Numbers to Know to be Healthy & Happy - Bronson Healthcare

Published on March 24, 2015

Four Numbers to Know to be Healthy & Happy

If leading a healthier lifestyle was a New Year’s resolution of yours and you’ve had a difficult time staying on track, now is a great time to recommit yourself to that resolution.

With summer almost upon us, the time of barbecues and bonfires, we can stay ahead of potential health risks by knowing our numbers while still enjoying summer to its last drop.

Here are some of the numbers that are important for you to know:

Blood Pressure
Blood pressure consists of two numbers. Your systolic pressure measures the pressure of blood against artery walls when the heart pumps blood out during a heartbeat. The diastolic pressure measures the same pressure between heartbeats, when the heart fills with blood.

 Normal:

  • Below 120/80 mm Hg

 Fact:

  • 74 million people in the U.S. have high blood pressure or pre-hypertension.

Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol isn't all bad—it’s a type of fat that's actually a nutrient. But as you've probably heard, there's "good" cholesterol and "bad" cholesterol. When we measure cholesterol and blood fats, we're really talking about three different numbers: HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. They combine to give you a "lipid profile" score, but the three individual scores are most important.

 Normal:

  • Total cholesterol below 180 mg/dl
  • HDL for men greater than 40 mg/dl and women greater than 50 mg/dl
  • LDL below 100 mg/dl
  • Triglycerides below 150 mg/dl

 Fact:

  • Adults 20 and older should get a lipid profile every five years.

Blood Sugar

Why are high blood sugar levels bad for you? Glucose is precious fuel for all the cells in your body—when it's present at normal levels. But persistently high sugar levels behave like a slow-acting poison.

Testing your fasting blood sugar measures your risk for diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease that can lead to blindness, cardiac disease, kidney failure, nerve problems and an impaired immune system. During the day, blood glucose levels tend to be at their lowest just before meals.

 Normal:

  • Nonfasting below 140 mg/dl
  • Fasting below 100 mg/dl

 Fact:

  • Diabetes is more prevalent in the African American community.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI is a measurement of your height and weight. It is used to determine if you are at a healthy weight for your height. Being overweight is a risk factor because it is often related to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. The best way to maintain a healthy weight is to get regular exercise and eat healthy foods.

No matter what your numbers, the most important thing to know is that they can all be helped by healthy lifestyle choices. Even small changes in your physical activity, your nutrition and your smoking habits can have a major impact on your health. It is never too late to start making healthy choices or recommit to an old New Year’s resolution.

 Normal:

  • 18.5 to 25

 Fact:

  • It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build.


Gena Harrison, M.D., is accepting new patients at Bronson Internal Medicine & Rheumatology. Call (269) 979-6333 to schedule an appointment. Bronson Internal Medicine & Rheumatology is located at 2845 Capital Ave. SW, Suite 302, in Battle Creek, Mich. Visit bronsonhealth.com/ primarycare for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


  • The 4 numbers you need to know to be healthy and happy. #healthyliving

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