Your weight and good nutrition are not the only indicators of good health. Today, I will cover some vital signs that will give you a clearer picture of your health condition.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, there are 4 vital signs that show the general health of a person:
- Respiratory rate
- Body temperature
- Blood pressure
When you go to your doctor and in the hospital, these are measured and assessed. Some pharmacies have blood pressure monitors in the waiting area, as well as blood pressure cuffs and thermometers that you can use at home. For more information on how to get these measurements or take them yourself, ask your physician or pharmacist. The Hopkins website, also, provides this information. I recommend that you review it.
John Hopkins Medicine Vital Signs
Normal measures for these vital signs are:
||60-100 beats per minute (Some athletes and runners may have a lower pulse near 40 beats per minute.)
||12-16 breaths per minute
||97.8oF – 99oF
||Less than or equal to 120/80
Here are a few simple steps to check your pulse from Medical News Today
Using your wrist:
- Turn one hand over with your palm facing up.
- Using your other hand, place two fingertips side-by-side gently in the groove on the forearm, down from the fold of the wrist and within an inch along from the base of the thumb.
- When the position is right, you should feel the pulsation of your heartbeat.
To check your respiratory rate, count the number of breaths for 15 seconds and multiply that number by 4.
We will talk about some of these vital signs more in later topics. If you find that your vital signs are frequently outside of the range of normal, have a conversation with your physician. Let’s learn, be better informed, make better decisions, and achieve the good health that we need to live our best lives. I welcome your comments and look forward to hearing from you. Have a marvalous day!
What will I eat? What we eat is the largest factor in how well our body functions and our overall health. You have probably heard the saying “trash in and trash out.” Well, that is true of our bodies, as well. Our bodies require fuel to help it function optimally. Nutrition is key. Poor nutrition can deflate even the best workout.
Today’s topic is not a simple one. There are multitudes of diets that are publicized, for example, Keto, Paleo, Atkins, Macros, Weight Watchers, and so on. I am not here to validate any of these, rather share the importance of a healthy diet and where to get more information on what that would look like for you.
Let me start by saying that my eating habits are not the best. I like sweets, salty foods, fried foods as much as I do the healthy ones. I will probably not give up eating cake for the rest of my life to reach my weight goal and reach a healthier state of being. However, I can practice moderation, eat more of the good stuff, and occasionally indulge. Ah, the best of both worlds.
Where do we start to improve our diets? We go to a trusted source for information on healthy food. I recommend a few places to get this information.
- The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control has a Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/index.html. On this webpage, you will find links to information on nutrition, healthy weight, etc. Take some time to explore. We need to educate ourselves on good nutrition so that we can make healthy choices and not just follow a diet plan blindly.
- The United States Department of Agriculture, choosemyplate.gov, has a wealth of information on nutrition. Check out the “Start Simple With MyPlate.” It provides information on fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and a lot of healthy tips for your diet.
- Local hospital websites – Search the website for a hospital in your community. Once you find their webpage, search nutrition or healthy diet. There often information on links to information on proper nutrition and healthy diet habits.
- Your physician is an excellent source. Talk to him or her about your plans. They have information for you, or can even refer you to a nutritionist. Depending on your health condition and medical coverage, the nutritionist may or may not be at an additional cost to you.
My tips for a healthier diet are:
- Drink up to 4-8 glasses of water per day. There is varying information if 8 glasses is more than or what is needed. However, it will not be harmful to for me drink this amount of water. I will need to work my way up to 8 glasses. Although, it is much easier on days that I exercise. A cold drink of water is so refreshing after a workout. Remember: Good hydration is great for help to eliminate waste from our bodies, cells to function properly, promotes healthy skin, and healthy weight.
- Drink a full glass of water when your first wake up in the morning. Keep bottled water or glass of water handy, if the walk to the kitchen seems too much when you first get up.
- Reduce, not eliminate, salt from my diet. I use Morton’s Light salt.
- Limit sugary sweets to 1 serving 1-2 times a week. This means I can have a cookie on Wednesday and a slice of cake on Sunday. Some weeks, I may only have 1 and possibly none.
- Use a sugar alternative, like Stevia.
- Eating a piece of fruit to curb a sweet craving.
- Adding 1-2 different vegetables to my meals. I love broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, kale, sweet potatoes, cabbage, etc.
- Increase my intake of vegetables by adding spinach and carrots to my smoothie.
- Reduce the starches in my diet, e.g. white potatoes, bread, and white rice.
- Eat until I am satisfied, but not full.
- Incorporate healthy fats, like olive oil and avocado.
- Eat a good amount of protein. I will opt for salmon, tuna, chicken breast, and ground turkey, instead of pork and beef.
- Plan meals for myself and my family in advance, so that I can use the leftovers for lunch the next day and avoid making poor food choices if healthy options are not available at home or work (in my prepared lunch).
Please share your thoughts on what helps you maintain a healthy diet or even your diet struggles. We all have them. Some days are better than others. Regardless, we keep striving to consume what is best for our bodies. Don’t expect perfect, but let your passion get you there. Have a Marvalous day!
Many of us judge our personal health by our weight. However, in order to know if our weight is healthy, we must answer the question, what is a healthy weight?
Per the Mayo Clinic, a “healthy weight means that you have the right amount of body fat in relation to your overall body mass. It is a weight that allows you to feel energetic, reduces health risks, helps prevent premature aging (such as worn out joints from carrying around too much weight), and gives you the best quality of life.”1 This is an excellent definition of a healthy weight. There are some key phrases that I want to point out to you:
- “the right amount of body fat”
- “feel energetic”
- “prevents premature aging”
- “best quality of life”
Basically, we do need to have some fat, energy to function, slow the wear and tear on our bodies, and live a best quality life. The next question is what is a healthy weight for you and me?
The Mayo Clinic, like many in the medical community, recommends using your body mass index (BMI). BMI is a better measure of body fat than the weight on the scale which includes, fat, muscle, water, tissue, etc. The Mayo Clinic has made it easy with the use of a chart for you and I to find our current BMI, and with a target BMI of 19-24 to find our goal weight. Click the link to access the chart: Mayo Clinic BMI Chart
Now, that we have a clear picture of where we need to be for our best health, here is some helpful information on our weight:
- The best time to weight is in the morning. If mornings are too hectic, weight yourself at the same time of the day on the days you take your weight.
- Use the same scale to avoid scale variability in sensitivity. Sometimes that difference between the numbers past the decimal point, for example 0.7 and 0.5, may make us feel differently.
- The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recommends that losing 1-2 pounds per week is a healthy rate of weight loss.2
- Weigh once a week on the same day. Make it a ritual. You may choose to weight yourself more often, but with a healthy goal of 1-2 pounds, you may not see much of a difference on a daily basis.
- Talk to your doctor about your weight to make sure the goals that you set are healthy for you.
As we journey together, incremental improvements will lead to lifelong habits that will keep the weight off and not cause us to rebound. This is a process. We are worth it.
- The Mayo Foundation for Education and Research. 2019. What is your BMI. Accessed on 3/29/2019: http://diet.mayoclinic.org/diet/eat/what-is-your-bmi?xid=nl_MayoClinicDiet_20160426
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019. Losing Weight. Accessed on 3/29/2019: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html
Monday through Friday, I am primarily consumed with my work responsibilities and in the evenings Mommy duty tasks. Saturdays can be equally daunting with household duties, Mommy duties, and squeezing in time for self-care, and social activities. Then comes the beloved and golden Sunday. Sundays are great to restore my energy levels both physically and spiritually. That can be a challenge since I have numerous irons in the fire. I either want to completely check out to rest or I want to work on getting as many things done as I can. For me, neither are good options. Doing nothing all day is a lost opportunity to work on my personal tasks that I find fulfilling. And doing too much on Sunday will lead me into exhaustion for the week starting the next morning. I found and am still working to optimize my Sunday routine to achieve better balance or arrest and activity.
My morning cup of coffee is starting each day with prayer, meditation, and on Sunday mornings church service. I need that time to center myself. I express my gratitude for all that I have been given, remind myself of who I am, what I am to do, and where I am to go. Therefore, I find it necessary to maintain a planner and a personal notebook. There is power in the written word. There is the power of God in the bible and power in my transcribed thoughts to paper. Rather the power of His word to influence my thoughts and bless my steps is the power I use to live each day. In my notebook, I write down the biblical lessons that I believe God is speaking into my life daily. In addition, I also write the following:
- What I am grateful for.
- A few positive words about myself.
- Any special prayer requests.
In my planner, I write down my to-do list for the day (including rest) and what I want to achieve and at last one must involve a personal goal that I have set for 2020. I recommend having no more than 4 “To-Dos” on Sunday, including rest. Then I set times to get these things done. I am excited about my special Sundays. These days are cherished and used in a way the relaxes, energizes, and sets me up for a great week. I hope that my process will be helpful to you. Please share your experience and what you do on Sunday.
Have a Marvalous day!