Watch your numbers and take action. It’s motivating and It works.

Five key things to track to know your numbers:


How many steps you take per day
Moving a lot improves every other heart-health measure and disease risk. We urge you walking up to 10,000 steps a day, or almost five miles. Another rule of thumb is to exercise 150 minutes per week.

Your blood pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, has no symptoms; it can only be detected by being measured. A score of 120/80 is optimal, and 140/90 is normal for most people. Higher readings mean that arteries aren’t responding right to the force of blood pushing against artery walls (blood pressure), directly raising the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Your non-HDL cholesterol
That’s your total cholesterol reading minus your HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, a measure of fats in the blood that can narrow and clog arteries to the heart. Lower is better: Aim for a score lower than 130 mg/dL or, if you’re at a high risk of heart disease, lower than 70–100 mg/dL.

Your blood sugar
High blood sugar ups your risk of diabetes, which damages arteries. In fact, type 1 and type 2 diabetes are among the most harmful risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

How many hours of sleep a night you get
Although there’s no one “right” answer for all, consistently getting the number of hours that works for you helps lower the risk of heart disease. Most people need to sleep six to eight hours a night.

Author
Neda Motameni, MD Dr. Neda Motameni completed her Internal Medicine residency at State University of New York Health Science Center in Brooklyn, NY. Board certified in Internal Medicine and licensed in Virginia, Maryland, Florida and California. Dr. Motameni's experience expands as a hospitalist, primary care and urgent care provider. She has years of experience in managing acute and chronic illnesses, minor trauma/injuries, laceration repair and more. She practices at Dalewood Medical Center, Woodbridge, VA and Internal Medicine Practice, Vienna, VA.

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