Why Your Health in Numbers Really Matters

Why Your Health in Numbers Really Matters

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie Thompson

Life Saver, AMC

posted on Dec 21, 2014, at 9:49 pm


THERE ARE SEVERAL WAYS TO STAY HEALTHY, but often people neglect one of the most vital aspects of a healthy heart: keeping your numbers in check. Doctors and other medical professionals often stress your health in numbers, but why do these numbers matter? According to WebMD, monitoring your blood pressure, cholesterol and waist size are the three most important steps to optimal heart health.

In an effort to help you understand and implement these numbers, here’s some information on why they are always discussed.

1.Blood Pressure

A normal blood pressure should be below 120/80.

What exactly does 120/80 and other various combinations mean? Your systolic pressure, or the first number, measures the pressure of blood against artery walls when the heart is at maximum squeeze, while the second number, or diastolic pressure measures pressure when the heart is relaxed. Both of these numbers matter because hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the biggest risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD)

Your blood pressure can be high even when you feel completely fine, which is why it is so crucial to monitor. Fortunately, getting your blood pressure checked is simple and pain-free. You can get it checked at places like pharmacies, shopping malls, and medical centers. You can even purchase a blood pressure cuff that you can use to check yourself at home. Those who lower their blood pressure can see a reduction in risk for cardiac events and stroke.


Your total cholesterol should be 200 mg/dLor lower.

We’ve all heard about good and bad cholesterol, but what exactly is the difference and significance? When medical professionals refer to high cholesterol, they are often talking about too much bad cholesterol, or LDL, circulating in the blood. This LDL slowly builds up within the inner walls of your arteries, creating thick deposits called plaque. Plaque restricts blood flow in the arteries, and if a blood clot gets caught in it, a heart attack or stroke can be the unfortunate outcome.

Some foods with the highest bad cholesterol (LDL) include foods high in saturated fats, such as fried foods, bacon, butter, fatty meats and high fat dairy products.

3. Waist size

For men, a healthy waist size is less than 40 and for women, it is less than 35.

According to WebMD, monitoring your waist can be a clue to risk for serious chronic diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. A smaller waist size may reduce these risk factors. Plus, measuring waist size is easy! At home, you can measure with a tape measure around your belly button. If your circumference is higher than recommended, talk to your doctor about losing weight and lifestyle changes you can make to get healthy.

So, what are some ways you’ve kept a healthy heart this year?

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

Contact Mackenzie at mackenzie.thompson@advmedcert.com

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