Article: Are You Healthy?

So, you think you are pretty healthy? Check out the facts and figures below to find out!

WAIST

Men: less than 94cm

Women: less than 80cm

Excess abdominal fat can increase the risk of developing a chronic disease, such as obesity or heart disease – due to the excess fat sitting around vital organs.

HEART RATE

A normal resting heart rate should be somewhere between 60-80 beats, but increases with age. Those who are physically fit generally have a lower heart rate. A higher than normal heart rate can indicate health problems, such as dehydration, hypothyroidism or diabetes. Your heart rate increases when you exercise, are stressed/anxious or ingest excessive caffeine.

BLOOD CHOLESTEROL

Whether or not you have a family history of high cholesterol will determine what a ‘healthy’ cholesterol range is for you. Without family history, it should be no higher than 5.5mmol/L (with LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol lower than 3.5mmol/L). With a family history, or high risk,  it should be lower than 4mmol/L (with LDL being less than 2mmol/L). The ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) should be higher than 1mmol/L for everyone.

High cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. LDL cholesterol is responsible for leaving fatty deposits on your artery walls – which can cause blockages. HDL cholesterol carries cholesterol to the liver and is considered to be protective.

BLOOD GLUCOSE

Blood sugars should be somewhere between 4-8mmol/L. Low glucose can cause light headedness, irritability, tiredness, lack of concentration, whereas high glucose levels, such as in uncontrolled diabetes, can cause serious damage to the kidneys, eyes, heart and feet.

SLEEP

A healthy amount of sleep for an adult is between 7-9 hours. We all know the results of a lack of sleep, and it is important to get enough sleep for our immune system, blood pressure and weight maintenance.

FLUIDS

The recommended fluid intake is approximately 30-35mL/kg which equates to around 1.5-2L in most people. Water is needed for digestion, absorbing nutrients, excreting waste products and regulating body temperature.

WEIGHT

The healthy weight range determined by BMI (Body Mass Index) is between 18.5-24.9. This can be calculated by dividing your weight in kg by your height (in metres) 2.

e.g.        Height: 1.75m                    1.75 x 1.75 =  3.06

                Weight: 68kg                      68 / 3.06 = 22.2 BMI: 22 (within healthy weight range)

This method isn’t accurate for all groups, including ethnic groups, elderly people and those with a high muscle mass, as muscle weighs a lot more than fat.

BLOOD PRESSURE

Normal blood pressure should usually lie around the 120/80 mark. High blood pressure is considered to be consistently 140/90 over several weeks. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.

EXERCISE

The recommended amount of exercise is 30 minutes or more per day – this is moderate intensity, and doesn’t include things like gardening, walking across the parking lot, etc. This means increasing the heart rate, puffing, sweating and getting those muscles moving! Exercise reduces your risk of heart disease and cancer, helps digestion, reduces stress levels and aids in a good nights sleep.

ALCOHOL INTAKE

The recommended intake of alcohol is 2 standard drinks per day, with at least 2 alcohol-free days per week. Alcohol is a depressant and in excess can cause liver and brain damage, and increase risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. Alcohol is very kilojoule dense and can contribute to weight gain.

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