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How do you know if you’re healthy? What’s your concrete, observable measurement?
You take natural supplements to be “healthy,” right? So how do you know if you should take them, if they’re making a difference, and whether it’s time to stop one and try another?
You have to start by defining what “healthy” means to you. Then, you can make decisions on what to do next.
Here’s a few points to consider about measuring your own health:
BMI Estimates Overall Health for Large Populations, But Falls Short for You Personally
BMI, or body mass index, is really only a rough guesstimate of how truly healthy you are. Don’t put all your stock in it.
For example, it can’t detect whether you have lean muscle mass or weight from body fat. It also can’t differentiate between types of body fat. And depending on where you carry that fat, your health gets affected more or less.
Plus, while weight does have much to do with your health, it’s not just being overweight that’s unhealthy. Excessively thin people are risking their health just as much as someone overweight.
Body composition testing using skinfold calipers or bioelectric impedance gives you a better picture of your health. Women should be between 21 and 32% body fat, while men should be between 10 and 22%.
Various Metrics to Aim For
Generally, you can consider yourself healthy if you have:
LDL cholesterol and triglycerides below 100
A waist circumference less than half your height in inches
Blood pressure of at least 120/80, and ideally 115/75
You Have Healthy Attitudes Toward Food
Here, we’re not saying you obsessively eat salads all the time, soy for every meal, and never, ever drink a soda or caffeine. However, you realize doing things like those aren’t healthy for you long-term.
So, you might do them once in a while, but you don’t let those eating habits take over your life. Because, you like eating whole foods, raw vegetables, and avoiding sugar and salt for the most part because you know that’s healthier for you.
But sometimes, you eat an unhealthy meal too. And when you do, you enjoy it because that’s all right. You don’t get angry at yourself for having “failed” again.
You Don’t Get Sick Every Time Someone Else Does
If you have kids and a spouse, you’re going to catch their illnesses from time-to-time. However, healthy people don’t get sick every time someone else does. Your immune system should be able to resist infectious diseases more often than not.
Those are just some indicators you’re generally a healthy person. But it’s not a complete list.
What would you add? Or, would you remove something?