By:-John Hopkins Medicine International30 Sep, 2016
Your heart does a lot for you. You know that. And it doesn’t ask for anything in return. It is as loyal as anything or anyone can be. But your heart deserves to be loved back.
We look at all the numbers that matter to keep your heart young and in the best of health.
Here are five key numbers to track for your heart’s health and your wellbeing:
1. The number of steps you take per day
It is needless to say that keeping yourself physically active increases your heart-health and reduces risk of diseases. It is advised that we should walk up to 10,000 steps a day, or about five miles. Another rule of thumb is to exercise 150 minutes per week. In case you have a desk job, it is all the more necessary for you to get moving.
2. Your blood pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension results majorly from stress. It has no symptoms as such; and can only be detected by being measured. A score of 120/80 is optimal, and 140/90 is normal for most people. Higher readings mean that arteries aren’t responding well to the force of the blood pushing against artery walls (blood pressure), directly raising the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
3. Your non-HDL cholesterol
Cholesterol is both our friend and foe. There are two kinds of cholesterol, good and bad. LDL is bad cholesterol which you find in Butter, processed meat, & Dairy fats etc. whereas HDL is good cholesterol which you find in nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish etc. The number that matters here is your total cholesterol minus HDL, which is essentially your LDL level. The lower the number, the better. Recommended cholesterol levels differ with age. Ask your doctor for what’s the best number for you.
4. Your blood sugar
High blood sugar ups your risk of diabetes, which damages arteries. Type 1 diabetes is when the Pancreas produce very little or no insulin whereas type 2 diabetes is when the body resists the insulin produced by the Pancreas. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are among the most harmful risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Keep an eye on your insulin!
5. The number of hours of sleep you get every night
Although there’s no one “right” answer for all, consistently getting the number of hours that works for you helps lower the risk of heart disease. Most people need to sleep six to eight hours a night. Sleeping depends on age and gender of the person.
Take care of these numbers and your heart will take care of you