Hopefully you’re good with numbers, because they can be the secret to living a longer, healthier life.
These are some of the most important numbers to keep in mind that pertain to your well-being.
120/80: Your Blood Pressure
Referred to as the ‘silent killer’ due it’s lack of noticeable symptoms, high blood pressure that’s left unchecked damage the cells lining your arteries, and can cause tears where plaque can accumulate. This leads to blockages and other cardiovascular problems, explains Dr. Batya Grundland, a family doctor at Women’s College Hospital’s Family Practice Health Centre.
But it’s not just your heart that pays the price.
“High blood pressure can increase your risk of stroke, kidney failure and eye problems,” says Dr. Grundland.
Exercise, limiting dietary sodium and caffeine, and reducing stress are all ways to manage high blood pressure.
7-9: Hours of Sleep You Need Each Night
Even though the recommendation is seven to nine hours of sleep every night, one-third of Canadians aren’t hitting the mark. And it’s concerning – a lack of sleep has been linked to higher obesity risks, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, injuries, depression and even death.
The brain can be affected, too; studies suggest those who get poor sleep are more likely to eat poorly and experience intrusive thoughts, leading to anxiety and depression.
Related: The Biggest Sleeping Myth, Debunked
150: Minutes of Exercise per Week
Consistent physical activity is one of the simpler ways of protecting yourself from chronic diseases, and researchers suggest a minimum of 150 minutes as a benchmark to aim for every week. This can help against heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
Being physically active affords mental health benefits, too, warding off anxiety and depression.
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