Tips for a Healthy Heart
When it comes to heart health, there are different factors that work together to keep our bodies running like a well-oiled machines. Lowering your risk factors and seeing your doctor regularly means your can avoid preventable heart disease. There are six numbers you should know in regards to heart health.
Resting Heart Rate. Average heart rate is between 60-100 bpm. The lower your heart rate, the healthier your heart! Lower beats per minute means your heart is pumping more efficiently.
LDL Cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is the primary form of fat circulating in the blood stream that can end up deposited in artery walls. Your LDL levels should be lower than 100. The higher it goes, the higher the risk for heart disease.
BMI (Body Mass Index). BMI is calculated by using your height and weight. A normal BMI range is between 18.5 and 25.9. While BMI does not account for muscle mass, it does give a good indication of how healthy your weight is. Excess weight lowers levels of ‘good’ cholesterol and can put strain in the heart.
Blood Pressure. Uncontrolled blood pressure can damage and weaken blood vessels. This can also lead to a formation of blood clots which increases your risk for stroke.
Hemoglobin A1C. Your A1C is an indicator for diabetes. If diabetes runs in your family, or think you may have an elevated risk, talk to your doctor about getting your A1C checked!
Waist Circumference. Your waist circumference is another indicator used to determine a healthy weight. Prolonged increased weight is associated with an increased risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
The American Heart Association recommends that adults 20 and older have their cholesterol and other risk factors checked every 5 years.