Knowing your numbers can safeguard your heart.

Understanding cardiovascular health is contingent upon a comprehensive awareness of key health metrics. By familiarizing yourself with essential numbers – total cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index (BMI) – you gain valuable insights into your heart health and can take proactive steps to safeguard it. 

According to the American Heart Association, you can't manage what you don't measure, which is why knowing your risks of cardiovascular disease is so important, and knowing this risk starts with knowing your numbers. 

Total Cholesterol: 
Begin with total cholesterol, a measure of the fats circulating in your blood. Maintaining a healthy level is crucial as elevated cholesterol can contribute to arterial plaque buildup, increasing the risk of heart disease. Aim for a total cholesterol level below 200 mg/dL and work with your healthcare provider to devise strategies if adjustments are necessary.

Blood Pressure: 
Blood pressure is the force exerted by blood against your artery walls. It's expressed as two numbers: systolic (pressure during heartbeats) and diastolic (pressure between beats). Optimal blood pressure is around 120/80 mm Hg. Regular monitoring and lifestyle adjustments, such as heart-healthy diet and exercise, can aid in maintaining these numbers.

Blood Sugar: 
A vital aspect of heart health is managing blood sugar levels. Uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to diabetes, escalating cardiovascular risks. Fasting blood sugar levels below 100 mg/dL are ideal. Regular monitoring, a balanced diet and staying physically active are pivotal in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. 

Body Mass Index (BMI): 
BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. A healthy BMI falls between 18.5 and 24.9. Maintaining a proper weight is instrumental in reducing strain on the heart and minimizing cardiovascular risks. Focus on a balanced diet and regular exercise to achieve and sustain a healthy BMI. 

Knowledge is power, and knowing your numbers equips you with the tools to make informed decisions about your heart health. Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider and lifestyle modifications can significantly impact these metrics. Take charge of your cardiovascular well-being – know your numbers, understand the risks and embark on a journey towards a heart-healthy life. 

To schedule an appointment with North Suffolk Cardiology, call (631) 941-2000.