Small Changes to Core 4 Metrics Lead to Big Health Benefits
Summer is winding down, school is back in session, and the busyness of the holiday season is looming right around the corner. It can be easy to set our personal wellness goals aside during this busy time. At Harbin Clinic, we want to remind you that a few simple tips about important health metrics can keep you feeling great and ready for the tasks that lie ahead!
One of the best ways to stay on top of your wellness goals is to understand your Core 4: your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels and weight range. Making small changes to enhance your Core 4 metrics can bring about big health benefits.
We’ve provided a handful of health hacks that you can seamlessly incorporate into your daily routine.
Blood Pressure: Normal Blood pressure is any number between 120 – 90 on the top and between 80 – 60 on the bottom.
Ditch the salt. Substitutes such as garlic, onion powder, cumin or paprika can reduce blood pressure levels.
Eat more celery. Incorporating celery into your diet helps lower blood pressure. Why? Celery contains phthalides that relax blood vessels.
Add cinnamon to your beverage. As little as ½ to 1 tsp of cinnamon lowers both blood pressure and blood sugar.
Say yes to garlic. Garlic contains allicin, a substance that lowers blood pressure and relaxes blood vessels.
Stretch it out. Calming exercises such as yoga help ease blood pressure levels.
Blood Sugar/Glucose: Measurements of 90 – 160 when calculating blood glucose levels are the ideal range.
Skip the rolls. Foods that are high in carbs and processed sugar (pastries and bread) raise blood sugar levels.
Have an avocado. Healthy fats like avocado and even coconut water slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream and keep levels from skyrocketing.
Decaffeinate. Swap coffee for herbal tea for happy glucose levels.
Catch some Z’s. Sleep deprivation raises your ghrelin levels. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells your body you’re hungry. Seven hours of restful sleep a night helps your glucose levels.
Take a walk. Light exercise, such as walking, lowers blood sugar.
Cholesterol/Triglycerides: This measures the total amount of HDL, LDL and triglycerides in the blood. Having a total number of 199 or below is considered normal.
Go nuts! Walnuts, pecans, almonds and pistachios have been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels.
Have a cup of green tea. Studies show green tea increases good cholesterol levels.
Eat a bowl of oatmeal. Oat fiber found in oatmeal and whole grain cereals promotes healthy cholesterol.
Kick the habit. Your HDL (good cholesterol) levels increase the moment you quit smoking.
Ditch the donut. Foods high in trans fats such as margarine, popcorn, cakes and biscuits have negative effects on cholesterol levels.
Healthy Weight: The body mass index is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters. It can help doctors determine a healthy weight range for individuals.
Choose a smaller plate. Dinner plates measure 11 to 12 inches, but choosing a smaller size helps control portions.
Park farther away. Snag any chance you can to get in more steps and exercise for a happier number on your scale.
Eat before you shop. Going to the grocery store hungry increases the likelihood you’ll impulse-buy fattening foods.
Fill up on fiber. Eating fiber-rich foods, like broccoli and lentils, during lunch can fill you up and keep you full until dinner.
Hydrate to lose weight. Skipping carbonated sweet drinks at meals and drinking water instead cuts sugar and calories.
And last but not least…
Don’t skip your annual wellness checkup and stay up to date on essential vaccines. Flu season is quickly approaching, and it’s recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months of age receive a flu vaccine every year. Individuals over 65 years of age should talk to their doctor about receiving the pneumonia vaccine as well. In search of a physician? Find a physician near you by visiting our Find a Doctor page.