GOOD HEALTH BY THE NUMBERS
Our staff has combed the medical literature to bring you a quick guide to the numbers that you need to keep you healthy.
Do you know your blood pressure norms? ...Your Body-Mass Index? This issue of our newsletter features all health indicators and what they mean.
Systolic pressure is the amount of stress exerted on your heart and arteries when your heart is pumping. Diastolic is the resting blood pressure between heartbeats,
Normal B. P. is a high of 120 over 80. If you clock in with an elevated systolic
reading of 129 over 80, your B.P. is considered "Elevated," and anything higher than that is considered Hypertensive,If you read as high as 180 systolic or higher than 120 diastolic get immediate help.
Your fasting blood sugar should measure below 100, though factors such as age will have a higher benchmark. Follow the goal your doctor sets for your personal profile.
If you are classified as pre-diabetic, exercise and diet can be tried to keep your blood sugar under control.
Read the labels, and go easy on breads and pastas which quickly turn to sugar when digested,
Moderate exercise like walking or yard work is recommended for at lease 30 minutes for each of 5 days per week,
Even when walking, try to do 5-10 minutes of fast walking scattered throughout your more leisurely routine. This "interval training" is helpful in keeping your heart muscle toned.
Be careful not to overdo the exercise. If your body leaves you exhausted, scale back your routine.
All of us nerds who sit in front of a computer screen all day, and you couch potatoes who watch TV for hours at a sitting are asking for health problems.
Pay attention to how you are sitting. Being slouched over is bad for your spine.
Take a short walk or a 5 minute stretch every half hour to avoid back pain and stiff limbs.
The watchword here is "keep moving."
Research shows that too much time in front of a screen causes brain damage. Your cell phone is not immune from that either, leading to "text neck."
We have watched young couples on a date texting away, not speaking or talking to each other. This behavior has to affect how they relate to others.
We also recommend taking a cell-cation. Leave your cells at home. You'll be surprised how much more you'll see and enjoy.
Mothers used to say that you need to take 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy. You do need to stay hydrated, and a range of 4,000 to 17,000 is recommended.
You should build up your endurance with moderate walking, but as you get stronger introduce moderate bursts of more rapid steps (see "interval training" in the "Exercise" panel above.)
Fruit has lots of fiber, vitamin C, anjd folic acid. These nutriants are very hard to come by but they are plentiful in fruit. Men should try for 2 cups a day, Women 1 1/2 cups.
To eat a cups' worth, you need to eat one large banana, one medium pear, or 8 largish strawberries.
If you're working out, you're burning more calories, and you can up your fruit intake.
Don't drink if you're pregnant. Your baby's too young to drink! Women should take no more than 1 drink a day, Men 2 drinks. A drink is defined as 5 oz. of wine, 1 1/2 oz. of liquor, or 12 oz. of beer.
There is some evidence that moderate drinking helps digestion and beneficially stimulates the heart.
It must be remembered that any good effects rapidly disappear as more alcohol is consumed.
Sleep is a regenerative process in which tissues and muscles are grown and repaired. The optimum amount recommended is 7-9 hours.
Taking a long nap can't make up for a sleep deprived night. Research shows that taking long naps creates problems with heart functions and creates difficulties with concentration.
Blood sugar levels are also erratic when you nap for a long time.
Drink a minimum of 1 glass of water with each meal and in between, At workouts, drink every 15 minutes or so starting before you begin. as well as shortly after you end your session.
The old goal of 8 glasses of water daily is a difficult and unnecessary goal, especially if you have a small bladder capacity. A lot of water enters your system in your food.
Your body needs more of the nutrients in vegetables than the sweeter fruits. An assortment of veggies should be used throughout the week.
Mix the green ones with starchy ones, and be sure to add in beans, mushrooms, onions and zucchini for variety.
Don't overcook your veggies (southern style) as this takes away a lot of the nutrients.
This panel is black for a reason. Smoking is in no way healthy. It can literally kill you in many unpleasant ways.
It can harm your yet to be born babies, and the smoke alone can damage tots, toddlers, and any others unfortunate enough to breathe in the secondary smoke.
Get thee to a smoking clinic or support group if you are a nicotine addict. They'll help you kick the habit, and help you to live longer.
Health information curated to give you vital health news without jargon or politics.
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