You keep track of many kinds of numbers in your daily life. Your street numbers, cell phone numbers, friends contact numbers among others. But did you know there are three numbers that could save your life?

1. Blood pressure: when your heart beats it pumps blood out of the heart into the blood vessles of your body. There are two numbers to be concerned about with regards to your blood pressure. The systolic or top reading is the number that measures the pressure during the time when your heart “pumps” or contracts making the blood move into the arteries, the bottom number is called the diastolic pressure, and this reading indicates the pressure in your body when your heart relaxes after the contraction. It was previously thought that blood pressure of 120/80 was healthy, but now many doctors are advising their patients that their blood pressure numbers should be 115/76 or less.

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2. Cholesterol: Naturally occuring in the body, cholesterol is a type of fat, and your body needs a certain amount of cholesterol in order to function properly. Too much cholesterol however can make the walls of your arteries “sticky” and build up what’s called plaque which can narrow or even block blood flow into the arteries which can be a very dangerous condition.

There are three numbers that are important to know with regards to your cholesterol.

Total Cholesterol – this should be less than 200
HDL – or good cholesterol – should be more than 40 for men or more than 50 for a woman
LDL or bad cholesterol – should be less than 100

3. BMI – Body Mass Index or BMI is a measurement of body fat in adults

What the numbers mean:
BMI – over 30 is considered obese
Between 26- 29 is overweight
Between 25-18.5 is normal
Lower than 18.5 is underweight

Over 32% of adults in the United States over 20 years of age are considered obese. Obesity puts you at risk for conditions such as high blood pressure or hypertension, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Keeping track of your blood pressure, cholesterol, and BMI simply makes good health sense. The next time you visit your doctor for a health screen, get copies of your medical records so that you are aware and can track your own important health numbers.