How to Know if You Have a Healthy Heart

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Check your heart's health
Check your heart's health

To find out if you have a healthy heart, you can monitor your cholesterol, weight, blood pressure and various others numbers for a healthy heart. To get started, look at these target numbers and compare them to your results.

Things You'll Need

  • Physical exam
  • Blood chemistry laboratory results

See your primary care physician (PCP) and have a complete physical exam. Tell your doctor you want to monitor your health and to send you a copy of your laboratory results. My doctor does this automatically but if your doctor do not send you these results, request them. The first one is a starting point or "baseline" and then you want to look for trends. Are your numbers heading south?

Look at your total cholesterol number. This number should be less than 200mg/dL. If it is higher than 240mg/dL, it is considered high. If it is 200-239, it is considered as borderline so your target should be lower than 200mg/dL.

Track your LDL cholesterol. The LDL Cholesterol is known as the "bad" cholesterol. Your heart health is dependent on many different factors but doctors state people who are at "low risk" for heart disease should have a number that does not exceed 160mg/dL. People at "high risk" should aim to keep their LDL less than 100.

Monitor your good cholesterol, too. Women want their good cholesterol (HDL) numbers to be 50mg/dL or higher and men want their HDL to be 40 or more for a healthy heart.

Track your blood pressure, fasting glucose and body mass index to determine how healthy you are. Your blood pressure should typically be less than 120/80. Fasting glucose is best when it is less than 100 mg/dL. However, if it drops to 70 or below, a person is considered as hypoglycemic. Your body mass should be about 25kg/m.

Measure your waist. Our waist tend to get away from us quite quickly as we mature but experts have determined that women with a maximum of 35 inches and men with a maximum of 40 inches for a waistline or still in a healthy range.

Learn how to read your laboratory report. It is not difficult to find these numbers and track your heart's health. These numbers give you some idea if you're on a fast-track to heart disease.

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