You shouldn’t just jump into an exercise program! This is even more true if you have been inactive for a while! When’s the last time you had a complete medical checkup? Here are some of the medical numbers you should be aware of:
Blood Pressure (source: MedlinePlus):
Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats (pumping the blood). This is called systolic pressure (top number). When your heart is at rest or between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is the diastolic pressure (bottom number).
–120/80 or lower is normal blood pressure
–140/90 or higher is high blood pressure (hypertension)
An example of prehypertension would be a reading of 130/85.
High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, but it can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure. You can control high blood pressure through exercise, healthy eating and medication (if needed). I have seen cases where exercise and healthy eating made medication unnecessary after a period of time.
Cholesterol (source: MedlinePlus):
Research has proven that you can lower your cholesterol levels by exercising more and eating more fruits and vegetables.
Total cholesterol level
Less than 200 is best.
200 to 239 is borderline high.
240 or more means you’re at increased risk for heart disease.
LDL cholesterol levels
Below 100 is ideal for people who have a higher risk of heart disease.
100 to 129 is near optimal.
130 to 159 is borderline high.
160 or more means you’re at a higher risk for heart disease.
HDL cholesterol levels
Less than 40 means you’re at higher risk for heart disease.
60 or higher greatly reduces your risk of heart disease.
Triglyceride Levels (source: MedlinePlus):
Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL
Borderline High: 150-199 mg/dL
High: 200-499 mg/dL
Very High: 500 mg/dL or above
High triglyceride levels can be attributed to (among other things) a diet low in protein, high in carbohydrates and uncontrolled diabetes. This is why a nutritious, balanced diet is always best. And, low triglyceride levels can be attributed to (among other things) a low fat diet and malnutrition.
Your fitness program may need to start with a thorough medical checkup! Schedule it today if needed!
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