What’s Your Health Risk?
The Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to measure weight relative to height and is linked to overall health risk.
However, since the BMI does not differentiate between fat weight and muscle weight, if you are athletic or heavily muscled, these numbers may not accurately portray your risk.
Measure Your Middle
Another method of determining health risk is to measure your middle. Historically, women have obsessed about their thighs but what we should be paying attention to is excessive abdominal fat. Waistlines measuring greater than 35″ for women, and 40″ for men, have also been linked to increases in the risk of disease.
What’s Your Resting Heart Rate?
Your resting heart rate is a simple way to check your cardiovascular fitness and the best time to check it is first thing in the morning. To find your resting heart rate, take your pulse with your fingertips for 6 seconds and then multiply the number by 10. This number should lie between 45 and 80. Measurements of more than 80 beats per minute(bpm)is high and indicates a lack of aerobic conditioning. Note that women generally have a higher pulse rate than men and athletes will have a lower resting heart rate. Another indicator of your level of fitness, is how quickly your heart rate returns to your resting heart rate after exercising.
Are you Working Out Hard Enough?
Target heart rate (THR) measures the intensity of your workout. It is recommended that a healthy adult exercise at a target level of 50% to 80% of their maximum heart rate for at least 12 minutes. This is the amount of time it takes for your body to start burning fat. After 12 minutes, your body starts burning fat at a higher rate.
Other Useful Health Numbers
To get an overall picture of your health you should also know your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels. If you don’t know what these numbers are, visit your physician.