heart numbers blood pressure

Key Heart Numbers You Need to Know

Knowing and understanding key heart numbers allow you and your health care team to determine your risk for developing heart disease, stroke and peripheral artery disease. These numbers are essential in monitoring and managing your heart health, as they can help identify potential problems early on. Here’s a breakdown of the key heart numbers to know:

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is one of the most important numbers to know for heart health. It measures the force of blood against your artery walls and is expressed as two numbers: systolic (the top number) and diastolic (the bottom number). A normal blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 mmHg.

Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol levels also play a critical role in heart health. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that can build up in your arteries and increase your risk for heart disease. There are two types of cholesterol: HDL (good) cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol. A healthy total cholesterol level is less than 200 mg/dL, while an optimal level for HDL is 60 mg/dL or higher and an optimal level for LDL is less than 100 mg/dL.

Blood Sugar Levels

Having high blood sugar levels can put you at risk for developing diabetes, which in turn increases your risk for heart disease. It’s important to monitor your blood sugar regularly and maintain a healthy level through diet and exercise. A normal fasting blood glucose level is less than 100 mg/dL.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Your BMI is a measure of your body fat based on your height and weight. Having a high BMI can increase your risk for heart disease, as well as other health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure. A healthy BMI falls between 18.5 and 24.9.

Waist Circumference

In addition to BMI, waist circumference is another important measure of body fat distribution. Carrying excess weight around your waist (also known as abdominal obesity) can increase your risk for heart disease. Generally, a healthy waist circumference for men is less than 40 inches and for women it’s less than 35 inches.

Resting Heart Rate

Your resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute while at rest. A lower resting heart rate typically indicates better cardiovascular fitness, but it’s important to consult with a doctor as individual factors such as age and medications can affect this number. The average resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60-100 beats per minute.

Take Control of Your Heart Health

Taking control of your heart health means making conscious lifestyle decisions to maintain or improve these critical numbers. Regular physical activity, balanced eating, and avoiding smoking are foundational habits that positively influence your heart statistics. It’s also vital to have regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor changes in your heart numbers and to get professional guidance tailored to your individual health needs. By staying informed and proactive about your heart health, you take an essential step toward a longer, healthier life. For a comprehensive heart health check-up, visit www.SamHoustonHeart.net.