INSIDER.com spoke to Dr. Malkani and Dr. Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, a physician and a health and wellness expert, to learn what literally and figuratively counts when it comes to your health.
Waist circumference. “Waist circumference is an indicator of visceral (‘belly’) fat, which is the fat that surrounds the internal organs,” Malkani said. “Visceral fat is a much more accurate predictor of obesity-related disease risk than overall body fat.”
Glasses of water. “Staying hydrated is also essential for our overall health and wellness, although it’s a common misconception that everyone needs to drink eight glasses of water per day.” Okeke-Igbokwe said that the “goal” is to have a pale yellow color or lighter urine; anything darker is a good indicator that you aren’t drinking enough water.
Blood pressure. Okeke-Igbokwe said your blood pressure is another number you should pay close attention to and try to control to maintain your overall health.
Vegetables eaten. “As a general rule, the more servings of fruits and vegetables you eat per day, particularly non-starchy vegetables, the better for your overall health and wellness.” Four or five servings of vegetables are typically recommended each day for someone who eats 2,000 calories daily. Eating everything from dark leafy greens to legumes will help you take in a variety of nutrients and vitamins.
Cholesterol levels. “There is clinical significance in knowing what your ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol levels are,” adds Okeke-Igbokwe. “In general, by the time you are about 20, your cholesterol levels should be checked by your physician at least every five years.”
Steps and activity. Studies have
found a link between exercising at least 30 minutes per day with a reduction in the risk of early death.
Hours spent sleeping. Okeke-Igbokwe recommended people aim for eight to nine hours every night. The National Sleep Foundation, however, recommends seven to nine for adults over 18.
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