It is never too late to begin monitoring your health. The good news is doing so may be easier than you think! There are some simple screenings that can help you track your overall health. These screenings are physical measurements that are taken to benchmark and evaluate your health status. Visit your physician or talk to your wellness provider for more information on these screenings.

These screenings commonly include body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, blood pressure, blood cholesterol levels (total, HDL, and LDL), blood triglyceride levels, and blood glucose levels. These numbers can be a good indicator for your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and other preventable illnesses.

If you find any of your measurements for these screenings are out of the normal range, don’t fret! There are many changes you can make to improve your numbers. Increasing exercises you enjoy and maintaining a healthy diet are some examples. In addition, avoiding smoking and limiting caffeine and alcohol can be extremely beneficial to your health.

Did You Know?

  • About one third of Americans have high blood pressure. Many do not know they do because it usually has no symptoms.
  • Anyone, no matter what age or gender, can be affected by high BMI, body fat, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and/or blood glucose levels.
  • 71 million American adults have high LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels.
  • From 1980 to 2011, new diagnoses of diabetes tripled in the United States.

Tips for Monitoring your Numbers that Count

  1. Test your blood pressure regularly; at home, with an electric monitor, or at a grocery store kiosk. Record your blood pressure in a log or diary.
  2. Maintain a healthy diet, healthy weight, and exercise regularly.
  3. Look for foods rich in fiber, and drink plenty of water.
  4. Think “fUNfats.” MonoUNsaturated and polyUNsaturated fats found in olive oil and fish are “good”. Avoid foods high in carbohydrates and sugar.
  5. Use a calendar to plan screenings in advance.

Sources: The American Heart Association, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, LifeWork Strategies EAP, and Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, consult your physician. Feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.