When it comes to men’s health, there are certain numbers that can make all the difference. While you probably know your weight, height and shoe size, do you know the numbers that really count?
To give your health a quick assessment and help stay fit and healthy, check out these 7 important numbers and 5 statistics you should know.
5 – Cholesterol
Government guidelines recommend that Blood cholesterol levels should be 5.0 mmol/L for adults to maintain a healthy heart. Yet this number is nearly double in two-thirds of adults in Britain.
If you’re worried – and you should be if you drink a lot, smoke and eat a diet high in saturated fat – then get yourself checked with your GP.
6 – Sleep
Sleep has become a controversial subject, with different numbers of hours suggested for good health. The general consensus seems to be that six hours of sleep is the minimum amount required to maintain energy levels, help with cell repair and maintain good heart health.
14 – Alcohol units
According to government guidelines first introduced in 1987 men should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week in order to protect their short and long-term health. So, what is a measure of alcohol? A medium glass of wine? No, that’s actually 2 measures. So is a pint of beer and so is one double gin and tonic.
18.5 – BMI
The system of calculating BMI (body mass index) involves calculating your weight (in kilograms) divided by your height squared (in meters). While there is some variation in the thought of what classes as a healthy BMI, it is the general consensus that an average adult should fall into a “normal” range between 18.5 – 25. This calculation, however, does not take into account the persons muscle mass and therefore often gives a muscular person an “overweight” or “obese” calculation whilst the truth is they are actually fit and healthy.
37 – Waist measurement
A report by Public Health England concludes that men with a “spare tyre” are 3 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, and 5 times more likely to suffer from health problems such as heart attacks where waist circumference is above 37 inches. A study by City University London, says a waist to height ratio of 80% or more could reduce life expectancy by up to 20 years. To measure your waist correctly find the bottom of your ribs and top of your hips and measure around your body at this point.
120/80 – Blood pressure
Often referred to as “the silent killer,” high blood pressure causes 350 preventable stroke or heart attacks every day in the UK. The recommended reading of between 90/60 and 120/80 (the top number of this reading reflects the maximum pressure when your heart beats, while the bottom number refers to the lowest pressure when your heart relaxes between beats). Low blood pressure can cause dizziness, while high blood pressure can be dangerous and could lead to heart attacks or stroke.
2500 – Calorie count
2500 is the number of calories the average healthy man should consume in order to maintain his weight. For those trying to lose weight, this number will alter. Of the 2500 calories consumed by the average man, no more than 25-35% of these should be from fat.
Remember to factor in some physical exercise, at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. Some FLexercise teachers have mixed classes and some teach classes just for men, have a look around their website. Just making some small changes could make a big difference to a healthy and happy life.
For more information go to the Men’s Health Forum, there are some great tips and advice there.