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5 important health parameters to check often once you turn 40!

When one hits the FOUR-OH milestone, one does start fretting over the few more grey hair popping up, a receding hairline or perhaps, some wrinkles especially around the eyes. These are of course, cosmetic and what is seen through a mirror. Keeping this aside there are a few other health indicators that it is advisable to track, in order to stay in control of health to preempt future issues and ensure you can feel young & active for longer.

Check out these five personal health metrics-which are the main numbers to keep a watch on as you reach your big FOUR ZERO! 

Blood Pressure (BP)

This is the best indicator to know how well your heart is functioning and should be your top priority on your list!

Ideally, a BP reading should be 115 over 75. If it is anything else then you can check which stage you are in and do the needful accordingly.

There are different stages of warning

  • Stage 1 - Prehypertension and Hypertension – It means your BP is not that good and may increase to a dangerous level.
  • Stage 2 - Hypertension – You’re already in a major risk group, unfortunately. Your BP is not in good shape and you can easily get dragged into a hypertensive crisis. The good news is, you can start taking drugs and do tiny changes to recover from this stage.
  • Stage 3 Hypertensive Crisis - It means your BP is really high. If this is your regular average BP and your doctor knows about it, find out what you can do to lower it! If you just took a reading and it’s much higher than usual, reach out to medical assistance now.

   Do consult with your doctor to find out where you stand and take the right precautions to aid you in controlling your BP.

Resting Heart Rate

As the caption suggests when you rest, your heart also needs to be at rest. A rapid heartbeat while resting is an indication that your heart is working overtime. This is closely tied with high blood pressure, a healthy resting heart rate is usually around 60 beats per minute. It should be in this range when you first get out of bed. If this is not the case then it is an indicator that you need to make an appointment and meet your doctor at the earliest!

Cholesterol

This word - what does it mean and how significant is it, given all the recent debates.

Cholesterol levels are measuring the different types of fats in the blood. Those of which you need and some you don’t want at all. Cholesterol by itself is a type of fat but also a nutrient. This makes it a necessity as well as deadly. Too much of the wrong kind and you are at risk of a heart attack.  

So here is the Good, the bad, and the ugly.

  • HDL - This is the good stuff and helps clean up the HDL. It clears all the bad elements/ fats out of your arteries.
  • LDL- Now, this is the bad stuff, you can refer to this as a plaque in your arteries. As it builds up it blocks the blood flow thereby increasing your chances of either having a stroke or a heart attack.

        The optimal number for the desired cholesterol value will vary depending on gender and your overall risk for heart disease. Ideally, for someone who has no risk factors, 100-129 is considered healthy. On the other hand, if you do have certain risk factors the number should be as low as 70.

       It is important to keep these numbers in mind, but for everyone, it will be different and hence its best to check in with your doctor at regular intervals since “Prevention is better than cure”

Blood Sugar

The caption can be misleading, so no it’s not how sweet you are but it is the amount of glucose in your blood.

Blood sugar levels normally fluctuate, their levels increase after you eat. They are the main source of energy for your body otherwise known as carbohydrates.

The dangers of this begin when the levels get too high and remain at this elevated level over a long period of time. This can result in some major damage to the body especially when you get older, some of the repercussions of this can be damage to your blood vessels, kidneys, eyes, and nerves.

Blood sugar tests can be performed to detect diabetes and pre-diabetes and to monitor diabetes, which will help you keep a check on the glucose level and keep you on track of being healthy!

Waist Size

Now, this is something that is relatable to all age groups of both genders. But this number can be more accurate than your BMI or weight.

The added advantage here is that you don’t need a doctor, nor do tests or give blood, etc for this, it is easy, all you need is a measuring tape and you can do it at the comfort of your home.

Follow these thumb rules and you are on the right track!

  • Use your size at your belly button for this measurement.
  • For women, a healthy number is less than 36 inches.
  • For men, it’s less than 40 inches.
  • The number should be less than half your height.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to the size of your waist.

If the numbers are high then you are at the risk of creating a problem with one of the other four health paraments -blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes since this is an interweaving factor.  Health is too important and should be your first priority, so getting health insurance decreases risks in old age.

Side note -, research shows that your risk for heart disease increases 15% with a four-inch increase in waist size.

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