we’ve all been guilty of it: obsessive weigh-ins, falling into the habit of attaching one arbitrary number to our goals, believing that as long as we hit that number, nothing else matters. think it’s all about the weight? think again. being healthy is about so much more than just the number on the scale. in fact, by focusing solely on your weight, you could be ignoring risk factors for serious issues like heart disease and diabetes. here are 12 numbers you should be tracking (that you won't find on a scale):
1 [blood pressure] keeping an eye on salt consumption, increasing your fruit + veggie intake, 30 minutes of daily exercise and maintaining a healthy weight will help keep your blood pressure where you want it to be: under 120/80. this will minimize strain on your heart and arteries and reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.
2 [cholesterol] total cholesterol is a measure of all the cholesterol in your blood - both the good (HDL: helps remove cholesterol from your arteries) and the bad (LDL: the main culprit behind cholesterol build-up and artery blockage). strive to keep your HDL above 60, your LDL below 100 and your total under 200 by avoiding smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising consistently and eating a balanced diet loaded with fruits + veggies.
3 [inches] measuring + recording your body inches at the beginning of your weight-loss journey, as well as periodically throughout is a powerful tool that allows you to pinpoint both where your efforts are working and where you may need to do some tweaking. waist measurements can also serve as an indicator of your risk for heart problems and diabetes.
4 [body fat] this # is vital to getting a true read on your health because it reveals the relative proportions of fat and lean mass in your body. we don't love the term, but "skinny fat" is someone who is in the "healthy" body weight range but "unhealthy" in terms of body fat. over 30 million americans fall into this category - and what's worse is you're at high risk of heart disease + cancers that often go undiagnosed because you "look" healthy! healthy body fat ranges vary depending on height + age (20-32% for women + 10-22% for men), so download our free healthy bod weight guide to find out what's healthy for YOU. need a trusty way to measure? try our snazzy red calipers.
5 [active minutes] the american heart association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to improve overall cardiovascular health and thus lower your risk of stroke and heart disease, so 30 minutes, 5 times per week is a good rule of thumb. our motto: #move30.
6 [steps] sitting is the new smoking. in fact, research shows that even if you workout daily yet you are sedentary the rest of the day, you're considered at-risk for some serious diseases. an easy fix? track your # of steps in a day to get a good read on your overall activity level. the more steps you take the better, but you should be shooting for at least 10k per day. need an affordable pedometer to keep track? check out our pretty lil red version.
7 [progress] don’t get fixated on the actual # on the scale. instead, focus on your progress toward or away from your goal. our nifty goal-weight body scale allows you to do just that by displaying how many pounds you are from your goal, rather than your body weight. want to know a healthy weight range? get our healthy bod weight guide and then focus on making progress - not obsessing over a silly # on the scale.
8 [resting heart rate] low resting heart rate means your heart doesn’t have to work so dang hard + lowers your risk for heart disease. exercise helps so keep moving to stay in the healthy range of anywhere from 40-80 beats per minute (bpm). find your resting heart rate first thing in the morning. set a timer or stopwatch for 20 seconds, put your middle and index fingers on either your wrist or neck artery, find your pulse and count how many beats occur in those 20 seconds. multiply that # by 3, and you’ve got your resting heart rate!
9 [performance goals] keeping track of your performance #s not only keeps you motivated, it also ensures that you won’t slack on intensity, which keeps you moving right along toward your goals. jot down details during every single workout: # of push-ups, # of pull-ups, your mile time, etc. our original 12-week fitbook was designed for the serious goal getter to track the sets/reps/times/speeds/feeds (you get the point) so you can monitor progress, fine tune your approach + make serious strides toward your goals.
10 [portion sizes] portion control is one of the biggest factors in weight loss and weight maintenance. at fitlosophy, we don't count calories, but we DO conquer portion distortion. obviously, the larger the portion, the more calories you’re consuming, so make sure you keep an eye on those serving sizes. this is where a food scale really comes in handy! need the 411 on proper portion sizes? check out our food-portion guide. + list of 12 foods you should be weighing to reach your goals.
11 [hours of sleep] getting plenty of zzzs is crucial to maintain optimum physical, mental + emotional health. sleep deficiency lowers your immune system defenses, and can put you at greater risk for a whole host of issues such as heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, stroke and obesity, so aim for at least 8 hours.
12 [water consumption] drinking plenty of h2o aids digestion + weight loss, helps fight fatigue + headaches, improves mood + mental clarity, and keeps our skin pretty + glowing. #sip8 8-ounces glasses per day or ½ your body-weight in oz. (example: weigh 140 lbs = drink 70 oz). not a fan of plain water? try our fitfuser water bottle to add a little pizzazz.
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