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Track more than the Fat!

Written By South Centre Chiropractic Clinic & Summerside Chiropractic on December 19, 2016

To be a little more sophisticated and make it a lot more interesting and relevant there are other ways to monitor your health.
5) Cholesterol, get a baseline as soon as you can this year and start working on it. Keeping clean veggies and whole fruits in the fridge is the best way. Reducing animal fats and sticking with olive oil and other healthy fats is also good. I've had good results eating more oat bran as well. 
When I was in chiropractic school one of our nutrition courses based part of our grade on how much we could reduce our cholesterol. Mine was already quite low but I was able to lower it quite a lot more. Amazing that better health and less chance of stroke was not enough motivation. I needed to be graded on it! Grade yourself! Make a goal, write it down and reassess in 4 months to see how it is working.
4) I read an article recently that one should get 150 min of exercise/week. It left out an important concept in exercising and that is frequency. 
All too often people use the excuse of no time for exercise. Research has shown that as little as 20 min of higher intensity exercise is sufficient. An interesting finding was how much more benefit occurs when you go from 3 to 4 times per week of exercise. Higher intensity means you have hard time talking during. It's important because just putting in time at the gym does not cut it neither does having a physical job. You've got to keep that heart rate up for at least 20 mins. 
Remember that since frequency is so important, even if you only have a short period of time to do it, go for it! Make it count with high intensity and you'll take energy away from that workout to make the rest of your day more productive!
3) Blood Pressure
One in five adults are over 140/90. It is alarming to me how many people say, "that's normal for me". It may be normal for you but it's still not healthy. Make it a goal to reduce it! Reduce salt, the most common culprits are pre-packaged foods and deli meat not so much the shaker. Eat lean, clean protein such as fish, wild game, organic chicken and bison. Get sufficient rest consistently but not more than 8 hrs. Drop some weight. Get a BMI scale so you know if your losing fat. Don't wait until you need to become medicated, take the steps to reduce BP properly. High blood pressure is you bodies way of adapting to the stress your lifestlye is placing on your body. It's a message from your body to change your lifestyle. Listen to the message!
2) Resting Heart Rate
The Journal of Epidemiology published a large study in which they followed 34,000 people while evaluating their resting heart rates. They found that the lower the resting heart rate the lower the premature death rate. It's another health marker that makes getting fit fun! When you see your heart rate going down over the weeks and months into an exercise plan you are witnessing something great for you!! When I was training a lot I was able get mine to 29 beats per minute. Now with regular exercise I can keep around 39 BPM. Check yours in the morning before you get out of bed, use a watch and count for 15 seconds and times by four. I used to use my polar strap to make sure I got it right. 
Get it low and you'll be measuring it for a long long time.
1) Body Mass Index
One thing I hear all the time from patients who I'm working with one their weight is that thet think they are gaining muscle and that's why their weight is not changing. Sometimes they're right... but rarely. A fair gauge is how your pants are fitting but it's not the most reliable method. 
I recommend getting a good BMI weigh scale. Calipers are good but you have to skilled at using them. I like the BMI scales because height and weight ratios are not always accurate. By this measure I was still considered overweight when I qualified for IronMan World Championships in Kona! Judging by the veins I could follow across my abdominal area, I was not overweight! 
So if you are doing some significant training with your dietary changes and want to know if you really are exchanging fat mass for muscle mass a BMI scale is for you!
Yours in Health, Dr. Darrell
(February 13, 2012)

Posted In: Wellness