Our natural tendency is to gauge our state of wellness based on how we look, how big or small we are. We may look in the mirror after the holidays and notice a little more to love around the waist, and tell ourselves we need to get “back in shape.”
But what does it mean to be “in shape”? Is it simply to look good in front of the mirror? To fit into an ideal size? While weight is an important health indicator, several other factors are at play. A person who seems to be at a healthy weight actually could be less healthy than someone who seems to be overweight, based on other health factors such as the following:
While weight can affect blood pressure, genetic factors also can play a role. In fact, approximately one out of three adults in the United States has high blood pressure, and only half of them have it under control. A lot of people don’t even know they have it until it’s too late, which is why it’s often called the “silent killer.”
Fortunately, even those with a family history of high blood pressure can take preventative measures to keep their blood pressure under control. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking all can help keep blood pressure at a healthy level. So, even if you’re at a healthy weight, get your blood pressure checked so you have a better picture of your overall health.
Triglycerides are what make up your body fat. They also store extra calories when you eat more than your body needs. They circulate in your blood and are linked to atherosclerosis and pancreatitis. High levels of triglycerides in the blood also can be an indicator of other underlying diseases or health conditions. Your doctor can check your blood’s triglyceride level with a simple blood test. Once again, preventative measures to reduce your blood’s triglyceride level include healthy weight loss or maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical activity and avoiding excess calories.
Health is a very broad term and can be applied to our physical, emotional, mental, social and even spiritual well-being. Sometimes we may seem to have all the boxes checked for someone who has good health, but we just don’t feel our best. This is often due to fatigue. Many adults would agree that their energy level isn’t what they wish it was. Most of the time, fatigue can be linked to poor lifestyle choices, including a lack of physical activity, unhealthy food choices, poor sleep habits or the use of drugs or alcohol. Fatigue affects several areas of our life health, but just like the other health factors, it can be controlled or prevented by changing our lifestyle choices.
Whether or not you are overweight, it is very important you have a general understanding of all of the factors that contribute to your health. Following a healthy diet plan can prevent or control several health conditions. However, it is important that you talk to your doctor about any health concerns before starting a weight loss or weight management program.