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4 Physical Health Standards You Should Monitor
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<p>If you are not in the habit of getting annual physicals, you may not understand the standards that are used to monitor your health. However, these markers can provide information that can alert your physician of your risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes and other problems.</p> <p>&nbsp;For those desiring to become &ldquo;health savvy&rdquo; for longevity and better health throughout their lives, understanding these markers can provide meaningful goals to motivate them to take the actions that will improve their health. Here are four markers that can reveal a great deal about what&rsquo;s going on in your body.</p> <h2>&ndash; Body Mass Index</h2> <p>Body Mass Index, often called BMI does not measure body fat in a direct way, but the calculation can provide a <a href="http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/Diabetes/PreventionTreatmentofDiabetes/Know-Your-Health-Numbers_UCM_313882_Article.jsp">broad indication</a> of it. High BMI numbers are associated with increased risk of obesity-related diseases, such as type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and gallbladder disease. If you are overweight, your doctor can suggest options for weight loss, and your BMI numbers can help you chart your progress.</p> <h2>&ndash; Blood Pressure</h2> <p>Normal blood pressure is 120 over 80. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke, vision loss, kidney disease and sexual dysfunction. If a doctor such as <a href="https://rhsctn.com/">Rural Health Services Consortium Inc.</a> finds that your blood pressure is high, he or she may prescribe medications to lower it to a normal range. You can also monitor your own blood pressure by using a sphygmomanometer, available at your local pharmacy.</p> <h2>&ndash; A1c Blood Sugar Levels</h2> <p>The A1C test uses the hemoglobin in your blood to determine a pattern in your blood glucose levels over a period of time. If your A1C number is above 6, you are at risk of developing diabetes or may already have diabetes.</p> <h2>&ndash; LDL and HDL Cholesterol Levels</h2> <p>High cholesterol levels are linked to increased risk of heart disease and stroke. A cholesterol level under 200 is considered normal. If your cholesterol level is higher than this number, your physician may prescribe a statin medication or lifestyle changes to lower it.</p> <p>Monitoring these important health markers may seem like an unusual activity for individuals who are not accustomed to keeping a close watch on their medical condition. However, these numbers can provide important information that can allow you to make the necessary changes to safeguard your health. You can improve your numbers with changes in diet, exercise patterns, and attending to medical conditions that already exist.</p>

By Meghan Belnap
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Biography: Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.

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