Health Tips

Health Tips

 

Numbers you should know

Your cholesterol levels

Get your cholesterol checked every five years. You’re in the clear if your total number is under 200 mg/dL, with an LDL (that’s the bad kind) of less than 100 mg/dL and an HDL (that’s the good kind) of 50 mg/DL or more.

Your resting heart rate

The lower the number, the less your heart has to work (and that’s a good thing). Take your pulse in the morning, when you’re most relaxed. Measure the number of beats in 10 seconds, then multiply by six. Your number should be between 60 and 80 – even lower if you’re athletic.

Your waist-to-hip ratio

The best test for predicting heart attacks may be the proportion of your waist to your hips. Measure your waist at the smallest point, then measure your hips at the widest point. Divide the first number by the second number: an ideal ratio is 0.8 or lower.

Your body composition

A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that 25 to 30 per cent of young women with a normal BMI (19 to 25) still carry excessive body fat. The easiest way to check your body composition is with bioelectric impedance analysis, available in many gyms and doctors’ offices.

6 things not to think twice about

Taking a power nap

Studies show that 40 winks can help you kill stress and recharge. Keep it under 30 minutes – any longer and your body enters the deep stages of sleep, and studies show that if you wake up right before deep sleep, you’ll feel more refreshed.

Vegging out in front of The IT Crowd

The amount of mood-stabilising endorphins released from one minute of laughing is the same as the amount released with 10 minutes of strenuous rowing. Result.

Calling in “sick” next Friday

According to a study from the Families and Work Institute, 21 per cent of people who are highly overworked experience symptoms of clinical depression. Time for a duvet day.

Jumping his bones

A good romp has been linked to everything from fewer colds to reduced PMS symptoms, and even a sharper sense of smell. Plus it can torch up to 200 calories (equal to running 15 minutes on a treadmill).

Ruining your appetite

Noshing on healthy fats (like pistachios, olives, or peanut butter) about 20 minutes before a meal helps your stomach digest food more slowly, so you’ll feel full longer. Foods like these may also help your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K.

Squeezing into skinny jeans

Wriggling them on once a month can show you how your body’s changing – a better indicator than stepping on the scales.

3 healthy buys

A cast iron pan

Get this: the metal seeps out of the pan and into your food, increasing its iron content many times over.

A new pair of trainers

The right fit can help correct for anatomical flaws like flat arches or overpronation and fend off overuse injuries.

Condoms

A recent report shows that rates of gonorrhea (which can cause pelvic inflammatory disease) and chlamydia (which can damage fertility) are up – and that means use of protection is sorely down.