The 4-Step Health Check

If you’re concerned about your health, or if you just want to make sure everything is in good working order, here are four quick checks that you can employ. The first two can even be carried out straight away, using equipment most of us will have in the home.

Step 1: Check your BMI

Why is this important?

Your Body Mass Index is calculated from your weight and height. A high BMI puts you at risk of weight-related illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.

Equipment needed:

Bathroom scales, tape measure or long ruler, calculator.

How to do it:

You can calculate your BMI using either metric (kilograms and metres) or imperial (pounds and inches) measurements. First, measure your height and square it (i.e. multiply by itself); remember there are twelve inches to a foot. Next, weigh yourself and divide your weight by your squared height. If you are using pounds and inches, you need to then multiply by 703 for your BMI.

Here is mine, as an example:

Imperial Height = 5 feet 10 inches (70 inches); weight=10 stone 7 pounds (147 pounds)

BMI = 147/ (70 x 70) x 703 = 21.1

Or

Metric Height = 1.77m; weight = 66.67kg

BMI = 66.67/ (1.77 x 1.77) = 21.3

A BMI of below 18.5 is considered underweight, while 25-30 is overweight and over 30 is obese. However, since BMI can’t discriminate between the masses of fat, bone and muscle it can be an unreliable measure for some types of people, particularly children, breastfeeding mothers and the elderly. Even muscular athletes with little fat can trigger a BMI score of over 25.

Step 2: Check your waist-to-hip ratio

Why is this important?

A large waist-to-hip ratio is one of the characteristics of people at risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Equipment needed:

Tape measure, calculator.

How to do it:

Using your tape, measure your girth between the lowest point of your waist and your hips. Next, measure your girth around the widest part of your hips.

Divide the first number by the second for your hip/weight ratio. If your waist is smaller than your hips, the ratio will be less than 1. For women, a reading of below 0.8 is desired, while 1.0 or below is a healthy ratio for men.

Step 3: Check your blood pressure

Why is this important?

Hypertension (high blood pressure) can damage the heart, brain and kidneys but can be asymptomatic – hence it’s name, ‘the silent killer’. Hypotension (low blood pressure) causes dizziness and fainting, and can also lead to organ damage.

Equipment needed:

Sphygmomanometer (or blood pressure meter)

How to do it:

Follow the instructions on your meter carefully. Generally, you will need to fix the cuff to your upper arm and use the hand pump to inflate the cuff until the gauge reaches its maximum value; at this point the cuff has cut off your circulation (so don’t leave it inflated for too long!) Place the earpieces in and, while slowly releasing the valve, listen carefully until you hear the blood start to flow and note the reading on the gauge. Continue to listen until the sound of the blood flow stops, and note the second reading. The sound of the blood flow is very subtle and you may not pick it up straight away.

The first reading is your systolic blood pressure: the pressure immediately after the heart pumps. The second is your diastolic blood pressure: the pressure between beats. Both readings should be in the normal range for optimal health (systolic: 90 to 140; diastolic: 60 to 90).

Step 4: Check your cholesterol

Why is this important?

Most heart disease occurs in patients with high cholesterol.

Equipment needed:

Blood testing apparatus (carried out by a qualified health professional)

How to do it:

This can only be done by a qualified health professional, who will need to take a blood sample. Ideally, the amount of cholesterol in the blood should be less than 5 mmol/litre.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for information only and does not constitute expert advice. For expert exercise advice, consult with your GP or trusted healthcare expert.

Web – http://streetfit.tv/become-instructor
FAQ – http://streetfit.tv/learning-zone/faqs/
Email – hello@streetfit.tv
Phone – 0800 689 9909 option 1

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *