One good way to determine how healthy you are is to assess your heart health. Although there are many factors that can contribute to a healthy heart, the most important areas you can easily measure yourself are your resting heart rate and your resting/active blood pressure.
When you’re resting, count how many times your heart beats in a minute. Resting could be standing, sitting, or lying down. The most important factor to consider is that you are not engaging in exercise, as this would raise the heart rate.
Most healthy adults will have a resting heart rate of 60-100 beats per minute (BPM).
Generally, the lower the number of beats the more efficient the heart is at pumping blood. For example, elite athletes have been shown to have resting heart rates around 40 BPM.
Blood pressure is the amount of strength at which the heart pumps blood through the arteries.
Healthy blood pressure should fall around 120/80.
If the pressure is high, this is an indication that the heart is working harder than it needs to and can put strain on the heart and lead to chronic disease.
If the pressure is too low you could be pushing more blood through than is needed or your blood could be too thin.
In general, the higher the blood pressure the higher the instance of chronic diseases. Even someone who has a blood pressure of 135/80 is twice as likely to have heart disease than someone with a blood pressure of 115/75.
There are many ways you can lower your blood pressure without any prescription medication. The best ways are:
• Get regular exercise ‒ especially cardiovascular exercise
• Eat a diet low in cholesterol
• Limit your intake of fatty foods
• Avoid smoking
Keep in mind that you might be visually fit, but if your heart is not functioning efficiently, you can be prone to chronic disease.
Take some time to visit a qualified health professional and get your blood pressure checked out.
Be at your best: monitor your heart rate and blood pressure to live your healthiest life.