You can rattle off your cell phone and Social Security numbers without a second thought. But can you recite the numbers that add up to good health: your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar level and body mass index?
These four measurements are crucial indicators of your overall health, especially related to risk for heart attack and stroke. Unlike your family history, ethnicity and gender – which cannot be changed – these factors can be altered by the choices you make every day.
“Disease prevention is a numbers game that you can often control,” says Joline Heo, M.D., an internal medicine physician with Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation. “If your blood pressure, cholesterol, weight and other numbers are higher than normal, you can take steps to lower them—before your health becomes compromised.”
On the flip side, if your numbers are within a healthy range, you know you’re on track with your current healthy lifestyle habits.