What's my blood sugar?
Knowing your blood sugar becomes more important as we reach 45 years and older. As many as 79 million Americans have elevated blood sugar, or pre-diabetes, which is a fasting blood sugar between 100-125. This is a wake-up call that you’re heading toward diabetes, more likely to get heart disease and have a stroke. But it’s not too late to turn things around! By knowing what foods are best for you to eat and doing the right amount and type of exercise, you can prevent diabetes.
What’s my blood pressure?
If you don't know, you need to find out. High blood pressure is called a “silent killer” because frequently there are no warning signs or symptoms. One in 3 American adults (about 70 million) have high blood pressure (BP), or hypertension. High blood pressure is the #1 risk factor for stroke. I urge every woman to know and track her BP -- and that includes young adults. A healthy blood pressure is below 120/80, and there are many ways to keep blood pressure in a healthy, including eating the right foods, doing moderate exercise, not smoking and preventing diabetes.
Am I managing my stress?
Studies show that chronic stress increases our risk of heart disease, cancer and dementia. Chronic stress may trigger the production of inflammatory compounds and damage cells, blood vessels, and areas of the heart and brain. There are many strategies we can use to help lower our stress, including an anti-inflammation diet, regular exercise, meditation, yoga and massage just to name a few.
Am I getting the right amount of calcium and vitamin D?
Recent studies have shown that getting too much calcium may contribute to hardening of the arteries, or arteriosclerosis. However, not getting enough calcium increases our risk for developing osteoporosis. What’s a woman to do? My first recommendation is to get your vitamin D level checked by your doctor. Next, determine how much calcium you get from food. Having these two pieces of information makes it possible to determine if you need to supplement calcium and/or vitamin D and how much to supplement on a daily basis.
Do I socialize enough?
Studies show people who socialize regularly and have close connections with family or friends have healthier levels of stress hormones. They have less cortisol, less inflammation, less insulin and lower blood sugar. So not only is diet and exercise important for women’s health, but getting together with friends on a regular basis is essential for good health too. Go make a date for coffee, lunch or a walk with a friend now!