A recent US study suggests that most Americans don’t have time to care for themselves. As a result, most of them only visit the doctor when they are ill. Unfortunately, this is a terrible habit since it may be too late to prevent the disease or condition by the time you become ill. It is critical to frequently monitor your health to stay fit and maintain good life quality. You can be the best judge of your health if you know what to look for, and fortunately, you can stay fit at home. Below are a few simple ways to monitor your health.
1. Keep an eye on your sleep pattern
Checking your sleep pattern can be useful for making informed decisions about your health. Sleep tracking is beneficial, and there are three ways to determine if you are getting enough. You are likely not getting enough sleep if your alarm wakes you in the morning but you get drowsy by noon and want to doze just after dinner. Good night’s sleep is vital for controlling your blood pressure and minimizing your risk of diabetes and cardiac arrest. Between seven and nine hours of sleep, each night is recommended for keeping your body and mind healthy.
2. Think PERF daily
PERF refers to four essential things you should keep an eye on daily to ensure you are living a healthy lifestyle. The first is produce, which is the number of fruits and vegetables you eat during the day. Second is exercise; how active were you during the day? The third is relaxation; did you get at least 15 minutes of fun time and laughter for yourself? The last is fiber; did you consume enough whole-grain foods such as grains, beans, and other high-fiber dietary food? Consider your day healthy if you did well on all four fronts. You will likely begin to feel better and healthier if you pay attention to these four areas for most days.
3. Regularly check your BP
According to a study, one in every two American adults has hypertension. Aside from being tremendously dangerous, this disease has no signs alerting you, making it even worse. This is why monitoring your blood pressure regularly is important. Hypertension puts extra pressure and weakens your arteries. While a blood pressure monitor can be handy, dozens of smartphones, apps, and wearables can also be used to track your health. The current accessibility to digital health tools means you can quickly talk to your healthcare provider about your way forward after checking your blood pressure.
4. Chart your urine color
It is advisable to maintain a mental chart of your urine’s color. Your body isn’t getting enough fluids if your urine is dark and has a strong smell. It may suggest that you are dehydrated. Increase your water intake if this continues, and consult your doctor too. It is worth noting that the B vitamins can also cause your urine to turn bright yellow instead of clear straw color.
5. Strip naked at least once every two months
This involves examining your body completely, usually with the help of a close friend or significant other. Perform a thorough skin examination, and search for new or changed moles and suspicious rashes and spots. Also, examine your scalp, between your fingers and toes, and your arms underside. If you discover anything concerning, consult a dermatologist. You can use the ABCD test to check for moles. It stands for asymmetry, which is when the two halves do not align, irregularities at the border (rough edges), color (mostly inconsistent), and diameter (has a diameter of more than a quarter inch).
6. Know your BMI
The Body Mass Index (BMI) has grown in popularity as an assessment tool for weight health. A normal BMI ranges from 18.5 to 24.9. And you are likely overweight if your BMI ranges between 25 to 30. Higher BMI exposes you to a variety of illnesses and health problems. For example, obesity is a certified medical condition recognized by the national government and most insurance providers if your BMI exceeds 30.
7. Monitor your heart rate post-exercise
It is necessary to monitor your heart rate post-workout. An American Medical Association research suggests that women with poor heart rate recovery post-exercise are twice at risk of experiencing a heart attack than those with normal heart rate recovery. To calculate your heart rate recovery after a strenuous exercise, count your heartbeat for 15 seconds and multiply by four. Sit for two minutes and check again. Take the second number and subtract it from the first. If it is less than 55, your HRR is more than usual, and it is advisable to consult your doctor.
8. Check your hairbrush
Your hairbrush will get dirty with hair product residue, dead cells, dust mites, and broken hair clumps. And it is advisable to regularly clean it often. However, a closer look at your hairbrush may indicate if your hair is falling out. Falling hair could indicate how much iron you have in your body. Some researchers have linked low blood ferritin levels to unexplained hair loss. Another very prevalent reason is thyroid illness. It would be best to have your doctor examine your blood ferritin level if you notice your hair is falling out more than usual.
9. Try the fall test
You are at a high risk of falling if you have osteoporosis. Fortunately, health experts have designed a simple self-test you can use at home. Time yourself while standing on one leg. You can do this with or without your shoes but don’t hang on to anything. Try it three times on each leg, but one at a time. Unless you are around 80 years old, you should be able to stand on one leg for at least 10 seconds without swinging back and forth. Consult your doctor if you have difficulty doing this. It can indicate poor balance, and the doctor or physical therapist can recommend exercises to improve it.
It is okay to visit the hospital when you need a cure. However, considering the above tips can help you prevent health problems as you become more aware of yourself and build a personal health history.