Health Factors You Should Be Monitoring
There are a wide range of factors that must be considered when a person decides to get more serious about monitoring their overall health. As we get older, we realize that we are taking our health for granted. Getting more serious about keeping a closer eye on our health is something that we all must do.
Otherwise, the risk factors are tremendous. Even when a person has made the commitment to eating right and exercising, there are still certain dangers that can pop up if the person does not take the proper precautions. Regulating these factors and keeping them in check is crucial to long term health, so let's take a closer look at those that are most pivotal.
1. Sleeping Related Issues
When we are young, we tend to get used to subsisting on very small amounts of sleep. Burning the candles at both ends is a common rite of passage for the youthful. But as get older, our bodies start to require more sleep in order to function properly. Going without can lead to serious issues.
Failure to get the correct amount leads to a significantly increased craving for snacks that are unhealthy. When the system does not sleep enough, we usually crave sugary and salty snacks that give us great bursts of energy, but lead to crashes later on.
Even worse than that, sleep deprivation is one of the leading causes of accidents, both in the workplace and on the roads. While a doctor will typically recommend that a person gets at least eight hours of sleep per night, the majority of people can survive on seven.
2. Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is something that often goes neglected, as people assume that fit and healthy adults do not have high blood pressure. But blood pressure is a silent killer, due to the fact that it can strike down adults in the prime of their life, with very little advance warning.
That's why it is important to monitor your blood pressure more and more frequently as you get older. Certain events or habits that take place in your life can lead to higher blood pressure and regular monitoring helps you identify and eliminate them, before they pose a true threat.
You may need to make adjustments to your lifestyle, depending on your personal blood pressure levels. Blood pressure can rise as a result of inactivity, dietary choices, or even excessive physical exertion. When it comes to blood pressure, it is best to take your own readings on a regular basis, so that you can remain ahead of the curve.
3. Body Fat Percentage
A person's weight can be well within what is recommended by the body mass index chart, but this does not mean that their body fat is at the recommended percentage. Monitoring your weight is important, but keeping a vigilant watch over your body fat percentage is even more critical.
Fifteen percent is widely considered to be the accepted baseline for body fat percentage in healthy adults who consume a balanced diet and exercise on a consistent basis. A person's body fat percentage is a much more accurate indicator of their overall health levels.
When stepping onto that scale to get your latest weight reading, be sure to press the button that also offers the option of displaying your body fat. You may need to make subtle changes to your exercise and diet regimen in order to get to where you need to be.
4. Cholesterol Levels
Failure to keep track of your cholesterol levels can be another silent killer, much like blood pressure. High levels of cholesterol can be found even in those who do not struggle with their weight and exercise regularly. Weight and exercise regimen are not nearly as important to monitor as cholesterol.
High cholesterol rates can cause an increase in blood pressure and lead to heart problems later in life if it is not brought under control immediately. Unlike blood pressure and body fat, a person needs to schedule annual trips to a trusted physician, so that they measure your levels.
While you may feel like you are in perfect shape and have not experienced any recent health complications, having a cholesterol level that is too high can signal serious troubles down the road, so it is better to be safe than to be sorry. Get your cholesterol checked as often as possible.
5. Genetic Patterns
By looking at our family's hereditary patterns, we are able take a closer look at where our personal risk factors lie. Preventive medicine is quite useful, but only when we know exactly what we need to prevent. Researching the latest trends in health and fitness is great, but what we really need to be researching is our own family tree.
When we take the time to investigate our own genetics, we can uncover certain susceptibilities that we were not aware of. Whether it is vulnerability to a disease, a shortened life expectancy, or a genetic predisposition towards gaining weight, we can use this knowledge to shape the way we live from day to day.
Investigating your family health history gives you a valuable opportunity to get out in front of potential health issues that could pose a threat to your well being and help you avoid going through the same diseases and ailments that robbed your older family members of their chance to live a truly fulfilling life.