With over 20 years of keeping patients pain-free, healthy, active and happy, I’ve found the secret to their success is scheduling regular check-ups to monitor these 6 key indicators.
The American Heart Association says. “Keeping your cholesterol levels healthy is a great way to keep your heart healthy – and lower your chances of getting heart disease or having a stroke.” What are the cholesterol indicators we check?
We look at these 4 indicators together to get a picture of your health:
- Total Blood (serum) Cholesterol: healthy levels are under 200. Which are calculated by adding HDL + LDL + 20% of Triglyceride level
- LDL (bad) Cholesterol: healthy levels are under 100.
- HDL (good) Cholesterol: healthy levels are over 60.
- Triglycerides: healthy levels are under 150. Triglycerides are found in vegetable oils and animal fats.
Blood sugar testing is important because more than 29 million Americans have diabetes and out of this number 1 in 4 do not know they have it. Getting the following blood tests will let you know if you are in a healthy range or whether you may need to modify you diet and increase your exercise:
- Fasting glucose (usually at least eight hours without food or liquid (except water): healthy level is under 100.
- A1C (indicates the average of a person’s blood glucose levels over the past 3 months—no fasting required): healthy level is under 7
Blood pressure is an indication of the health of your arteries and may increase over time due to stiffness in large arteries; build up of plaque, or cardio vascular disease. The American Heart Association reports that 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure. When checking your blood pressure know:
- Blood Pressure: healthy range is 120 over 80 or less.
BMI (Body Mass Index)
Your BMI indicates your body’s fat by measuring your weight relative to your height (weight/height x 103 = BMI). Here are what the BMI ranges mean:
- BMI: ranges between 18.5 and 24.9 are considered healthy. Ranges between 25 and 30 are considered overweight. Anything over 30 is considered obese.
Good posture is when you have proper body alignment. Proper body alignment reduces stress on ligaments, tendons, muscles; decreases wear on your joints and spine; and keeps your nervous system and organs functioning properly.
- Good posture: is when your ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and head are alignment over each other from the side and front.
Lifestyle habits are another indicator for health. Questions to ask yourself to self assess your lifestyle habits are:
- How engaged in life are you? Do you have a social network?
Here is an example of how a social network can effect health. In a study by Andrew Steptoe, a professor of epidemiology and public health at University College London, who studied 6,500 people over 52 between 2004 and 2012—found 26% who were isolated were more likely to die during the study period than those with the most active social lives, even after accounting for factors that affect mortality, like age and illness.
- Do you listen to our body? Do make adjustments to reduce stress? Do you keep your body flexible? Do you wake up alert and ready for the day or do you drag yourself out of bed and function only with caffeine? Do you need energy boosts during the day? Are you sleeping soundly? Are you mentally focused and alert or easily distracted and lose focus?
My recommendation is always to seek out optimal health. Track your key indicators for health. Keep your numbers in the healthy range or above and expect to feel great most of the time. If you’re not, examine your lifestyle and see what’s stressing your body and make adjustments. If you are not sure what your numbers are, call our office for a wellness evaluation and find out whether your numbers are in a healthy or unhealthy range.
Dr. Steven Trauben is the founder of King Street Chiropractic Wellness Center, a pain relief and wellness center located in Alexandria, Virginia. He has been practicing just outside Washington DC for over twenty years. The center offers affordable comprehensive care programs for optimal wellness through chiropractic care, exercise, massage, nutrition and stress management education. If you’re interested in speaking with Dr. Trauben, you can call (703) 578-1900 to schedule an appointment or you can book an appointment online www.kingstreetwellness.com.