Contributed by- Saumya Shatakshi, Senior Nutritionist
Don’t we all fixate on health numbers ? Health is considered synonymous to the health numbers. But, have you ever wondered what the fuss is really about?
The real health management includes managing health numbers. But, distinguishing between the health numbers can be a huge dilemma. We often tend to obsess over numbers that don’t really matter. The trick is to identify the numbers that really matter.
For most of us managing our health means counting every calories we eat or are completely consumed in achieving the optimal BMI. Calculating every calorie you eat or applying math to your entire day diet is not the solution. The correct health management plan includes health numbers that really matter. Maintaining a required balance is enough, going overboard with the entire process of managing your health numbers is not going to help.
It is important to shed some light on this matter and how can we optimally strike a balance between these numbers and good health.
Health Numbers That Count
Half your plate
Instead of counting calories in every bite you take, it is advised to opt for the plate model. It is a simple way that helps in choosing a nutritionally balanced meal. Choosing the right proportions is the key. Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits, one quarter of the plate with protein rich food like fish, poultry and the rest of the quarter of the plate with whole grains or cereals like rice, chapatti. Stay keen on your portion sizes. A balanced diet is the right way to a healthier you.
Daily physical activity
Sweat to get it,should be your health mantra. An hour or 60 minutes of daily exercise is the best way to achieve good health. Physical activity plays a significant role in determining a person’s health status. Choose from the wide variety of workout options like yoga, walking, swimming, jogging, pilates, aerobics, dancing etc. Incorporate your choice of workout regime in your daily lifestyle.
Our body needs time to rejuvenate and grow. Lack of sleep can cause short term consequences like mood swings, irritability, anxiety, tiredness, inability to retain information and indigestion. The long term effects of depriving your body the required rest are increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiac problems, obesity and other major lifestyle disorders. A minimal sleep of 7-8 hours in a day is a must.
Blood pressure problem is known as the silent killer. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart diseases, heart attacks and strokes. Undesirable level of blood pressure hardly show any symptoms in the beginning till the problem takes an ugly form. Thus, it is important to monitor the blood pressure levels regularly. The normal blood pressure level is 120/80 mmHg.
Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disorder and managing the blood sugar levels is the only solution available to sugar patients. Our unhealthy lifestyle has increased the risk of diabetes among younger generation as well. Diabetes can be prevented by eating a balanced diet, exercise and proper and timely dosage of medication. Not just the sugar patients but everyone should go for regular blood sugar tests to stay ware of their health. The normal blood sugar level is less than 100mg/dl.
Now, that we have discussed the health numbers that matter. It is also important to discuss the numbers that are obsessed over but are not that important when it comes to health management.
Health Numbers That Are Not So Important
Growing age does make you more susceptible to health problems but it does not mean that every old person is unhealthy. Age is truly just a number if you manage your health properly and follow a required healthy lifestyle. As the famous saying goes, “You are never too young or never too old to take care of yourself”. So, start today because it is never too late to start working on yourself.
Obsessing and beating yourself over every calorie you eat is not required. The entire effort of counting every calorie is worthless. Infact, choose a nutrient rich food a, have small meals at small intervals, munch on healthy snacks etc. Your choice of food can make your health or break you. Making healthy food choices is only wise. For example, choose for steamed or grilled veggies instead of deep fried foods.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a clinical tool used to group people under the categories of:
- Over-weight and
The basis of classification is the height and weight ratio. It does not take age, gender and bone density into consideration. This is the reason why most of the athletes are classified as overweight.
For a lot of us life revolves around the size of clothes we wear. Dieting, exercising all is done with sole motive of fitting into smaller size of clothes. But, the size of clothes vary over countries and brands. It is not the best parameter to measure your health. Good health is not synonymous to smaller waist size. So, focus on incorporating healthy life choices rather than squeezing into smaller sizes of clothes.
A healthier you is a happier you, so start taking the right care of your health.
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