1. Pulse Count
You will want to measure how many times your heart beats in one minute at rest and during exercise. A normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 bpm. During exercise, it gets a little more complicated as a calculation will need to be achieved for an approx. measurement. Typically to get an approximate you would do 220 minus your age and that will give you the maximum heart rate you should expend your body while performing during exercise. To get your resting heart rate, begin in a seated position and place your middle and index finger on the inside of your wrist or on your neck; just next to your “Adam’s apple”. While you watch a clock or a timer, count your pulse AKA the beats for 30 seconds, multiply by 2 and that is how you will get your RESTING heart rate. As far as exercise goes, the next time your exercising start getting more familiar with how often your pulse changes throughout your exercise. I wear a FITBIT watch to assist in keeping an eye on my heart rate during exercise making sure I am staying within my normal ranges during exercise. Also, LOVE tracking many other things including my SLEEP, which is a whole other convo and priority!
2. Temperature Check
“Normal” body temperature is considered 98.6 degrees. A healthy temperature can range anywhere between 95- 101 degrees, depending on but not limited to; the time of day, age, fitness levels, and diet. Older individuals tend to have a lower temperature, so even when they are sick their temperature may not reach typical “feverish” levels. Everyone will have a baseline as far as temperature goes based on the variables explained above. High temperatures indicate your body is battling infection. Where lower temperatures can be revealed with underlying issues like diabetes, hypothyroidism, or liver disease.
3. Skin Test
Skin cancer is the common form of cancer in the United States, melanoma being the deadliest form. On the bright side, it is almost always treatable when caught early. Besides suggesting an annual skin/body exam with a professional, keep your observation going at least once a month at home. Get to know your birthmarks and moles; being sure to check these areas often. Start by scanning your entire body starting with your face and working downward. May need a family member or a friend to peek at your backside, or areas you cannot see very well. PRO TIP- Take pictures of your moles that may be “iffy” so you can be aware if they were to change over time and have them for your doctor visits! Another PRO TIP, when it comes to skin checks; use the “ABCDE” method for warning signs. A, Asymmetrical; B for irregular borders; C for abnormal color; D for diameter (larger than a pencil eraser); E for evolving (meaning the pictures or moles change overtime).
4. Measure your Waist Circumference
A bodyweight scale is a great tool to have at home when using it as a “tool”, but not something we want to strictly depend on or rely on when it comes to body fat or weight loss. Healthcare is generally quick to state a person is overweight or obese while just referring to a scale and discussing their BMI (Basal Metabolic Weight). Typically speaking, YES; a large waist circumference means more belly fat, which is linked to higher levels of inflammation and associated with heart disease and diabetes. So, we want to be sure that our waist measurements are in a healthy range. FIRST–Measure your waist, by doing this you will have a measure tape approx. 2 inches above your belly button. Women’s waist measurement should be less than 35 inches and men should be less than 40. Anything greater, then puts you in the risk category for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, etc.
The waist-to -hip ratio is a far better strategy to determine if someone is Obese, Overweight, or Average. Rather than simply stepping on a scale, in the middle of the day after eating a couple meals, fluid down, oh and a full jacket and set of heavy sneakers (HA, does this sound familiar during every doctor visit…) After you have taken your waist measurements, SECONDLY; take your hip measurements. The measuring tape should be around the largest part of your bottom. (See photo so accurately measured).
Here is some math for ya! Divide your waist size by your hip size to get your waist to hip ratio.
(waist measurement)/ (hip measurement) = __.__ inches AKA Waist-to-Hip Ratio
0.85 or lower for women
0.9 or lower for men
5. Stool Type
If this topic is the number one most stray away from, but also being one of THE most useful sources when it comes to identifying an underlying condition that something is going wrong internally. As a Trainer, Nutritionist, Massage Therapist, Life Coach, the clients’ stool is an immensely popular topic that must be addressed especially when working with clients’ nutrition. Stool is affiliated with everything, yes even cardiovascular disease! Not necessarily the stool that you see itself but the Nonexistence of the stool in which is happening AKA Constipation, which often coexists with cardiovascular risk factors. The way the stool exits from the body can cause straining to occur which then can lead to episodes like congestive heart failure, coronary diseases, arrhythmia, etc.
So, look at this chart shown, SAVE IT on your phone! Depending on your everyday nutrition regime usually dictates the type of stool that will be revealed. How many times per day/ per week can be pretty broad ranging from person to person. But genuinely, most people will have a regular bowel pattern; pooping the same number times a day and a similar time of day.