Tuesday, July 13, 2010

10 Health Numbers You Should Know

While the first five require a blood test, the rest are easy enough to track:

1. Total cholesterol should be below 200 mg/DL; above 240 doubles your risk.
2. LDL ("bad") cholesterol ideally should be below 100 mg/DL, it's considered high if it is 160 mg/DL or above.
3. HDL ("good") cholesterol should be above 40 mg/DL for men and above 50 mg/DL for women; above 60 is especially good.
4. Triglycerides should be below 150 mg/DL; a measure above 200 mg/DL is considered high.
5. Fasting blood sugar (glucose) should be less than 100 mg/dL .
6. Blood pressure reading should be less than 120/80.
7. Body mass index (BMI) should be less than 25.
8. Waist circumference should be under 35 inches for women and under 40 inches for men.
9. Resting heart rate should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
10. Exercise (moderate aerobic activity) at least 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week.

Sources: American Heart Association; US News and World Report

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