We face so many health options everyday, in every aspect of our lives, which affect our overall well being. Should we drive to work or walk to the train? Order the breakfast sandwich at McDonalds or grab an apple? Stop by the gym or stay at home watching television? Before making even one more decision today, consider the following six factors and the roles they play in your life:
Body Mass Index (BMI)—an estimate of your body fat calculated by using your height and weight. Sleep can affect your weight loss or gain. A well-rested body can digest food and process activity more easily.
Blood Glucose—signals how well your body processes carbohydrates. High levels of blood glucose indicate diabetes, while low levels could mean hypoglycemia. Your physician can measure your glucose level with a blood glucose test. Some studies show that eating cinnamon or drinking black tea can help maintain healthy glucose levels. To monitor your blood sugar, ask your doctor for a glucose test, and if you are diabetic, test yourself regularly at home.
Blood Pressure—the amount of force that the blood flowing through our blood vessels places on those vessels. High blood pressure, called hypertension, can damage the heart, blood vessels and kidneys. To lower your blood pressure, cut back on smoking and salt . Recent studies show that eating celery can help lower blood pressure.
Cholesterol—a fat-like substance found in cells and blood. Cholesterol occurs naturally in the human body, but certain foods also contain cholesterol. Too much can damage blood vessels and the heart, and lead to heart attack or stroke. Keep your cholesterol in check by eating more fiber (often found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes).
Exercise—benefits the body and mind. Thirty minutes a day of walking, riding your bike or playing team sports can reduce risk of heart disease and help you maintain a healthy body weight. Even small changes, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking at the far end of the lot, can make a difference.
Eat Right—What you eat will affect all of the other factors we’ve already discussed. Focus on fruits, vegetables and lean proteins; cut out foods high in fat, sugar and salt. Watch your portions, and keep healthy snacks around like nuts, dried fruit, yogurt and baby carrots.
Now that you know how each of these factors plays into your overall health, keep them in mind as you continue your day—happy and healthy for life. During the next few weeks, the Health for Life blog will introduce you to ways that Weiss can help you improve and maintain these health factors. In the meantime, check our calendar for free health screenings, exercise classes and special events.