Monitoring Your HealthAs Maureen talked about yesterday, exercise is very important for your health. We need to be good to ourselves, not only by exercising, but by making sure we monitor our health with regular checkups. Women should go once a year for a pap test and a mammogram. As women, we know these tests are not the most pleasant experiences, but they are important tests. Don't skip them. In between the yearly mammograms, you should do a breast self-examination each month.
You should also monitor your cholesterol and your blood pressure. Every time I go into a store that has one of those places to check blood pressure, I sit down and check mine. Although it is important to have this done by a professional also, these machines can be helpful in between visits to your doctor. Measuring blood pressure should be an average of a number of readings over time, not just one reading. If you notice a pattern of high blood pressure, you should see your doctor. Also a good thing to check is your heart rate recovery after exercise. To do this you should count your heartbeats for 15 seconds after regular strenuous exercise, then multiply by four to get your heart rate. Sit down and wait two minutes and then check again. Subtract the second number from the first. If it is under 55, your heart rate recovery is higher than normal and you should check with your doctor.
Your skin is another important thing to monitor. Every three months get naked and check your skin from head-to-toe, even in places like the underside of your arms, between your toes and fingers and your scalp. Look for for any new moles, changed moles, suspicious spots or rashes. If anything looks suspicious, see a dermatologist. I have a regular yearly exam with a dermatologist. Since I live in a very sunny climate and spend a lot of time outdoors, I believe this important.
You should also examine your feet. What can your feet tell you? You can check to see whether you have a good pulse in your feet that indicates you are getting good circulation in your legs. You should also check your toenails and be on the lookout for toenail fungus. We want to keep those tootsies healthy. After all, we need something to stand on and need them to exercise.
You have all been taught to keep an eye on your weight, but a better measure is your body mass index because it relates your weight to your height. A normal body mass index or BMI is about 19 to 24. You are overweight if your BMI is 25 to 30. A BMI of over 30 means you are considered obese. With a Google search, you can find a number of places on the Web to calculate your BMI.
If you are over 50 years old, there are a few other tests you should have to monitor your health. Your should have a colonoscopy to check for any signs of colon cancer. Another important test for women is a bone density test. This test monitors bone loss as you age. Keeping healthy bones is particularly important as you age. Unhealthy bones can lead to breaks that can have long-term consequences to your health.
These are some of the important ways you can monitor your health and be good to yourselves in the process. Something you can do every day that doesn't require a special test is making sure you get enough fruits, vegetables and fiber in your diet, exercise, relax and get enough sleep.
Are there any other things that you do to monitor your health?