Know Your Numbers2018-09-21T09:06:03+01:00

Know Your Numbers

A few regular checks to improve your health and wellbeing

Knowing Your Numbers is a great way to keep track of your body and ensure you are in the best possible health. There are simple and easy ways to understand and take your own measurements. These can categorise your health and more importantly act as early warning indicators of future illnesses, with a particular focus on heart disease.

Your lifestyle plays an integral part in whether you will be increasing your health risks. Early measurement and understanding can improve your fitness and wellbeing and minimise the risk.

The Know Your Numbers Plan is made up of 4 measurements:

Blood Pressure

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Fat

Waist to Hip Ratio

Weight Converter

For advice and accurate readings please see one of our qualified health and fitness professionals in your gym at work.

In order to monitor progress or change in these numbers it is advisable you always repeat future measurements at a similar time of day. For example, if you weighed yourself in the morning, continue to do that, because the results can vary throughout a given day.

It is important to remember that guidelines explained here are just indicative and will vary from person to person. However, when combined together they are a great source for understanding your overall health.

Why not speak to one of your Fitness Instructors in your gym at work and they can help provide you with a full fitness MOT and tailor a health and wellness program to suit your needs.

Blood Pressure

As blood is pumped around your body and passes through the blood vessels, it will exert pressure on them. If the pressure is too high this could place extra strain on arteries and the heart possibly leading to heart attacks or strokes. It is important to monitor your blood pressure as identifying blood pressure anomalies can help preventing health problems later in life.

What is my blood pressure?

Blood pressure can be measured using an electronic or manual meter to give an accurate reading.

Your blood pressure is made up of two numbers. Normal blood pressure levels are around 120 over 80 (120/80). The top level reading is the systolic. This is the highest pressure your blood reaches when the heart pumps. The diastolic is the lower reading which is the pressure when the heart relaxes between beats.

You can see on this chart what your blood pressure means.

High blood pressure can be caused by many reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Excessive body weight
  • Stress
  • Dietary factors (such as high caffeine)
  • Genetic factors
  • Smoking

It is important to note that high blood pressure is not a concern as a one off reading, but when recorded over a period of time and categorised as hypertension, medical advice should be sought.

High blood pressure can be reduced in many ways including:

  • Increasing exercise and losing weight
  • Changing your diet to include more fibre, less fat and less salt
  • Changes in lifestyle
  • In some instances medication where advised by your GP

Body Fat

Your body mass is comprised of four main things – bone, muscle, water and fat. Whilst we need to have fat for insulation and to store essential minerals, excess fat puts added strain on our major organs including making the heart work harder to pump blood around your body.

Taking a measurement of body fat is effective to identify what percentage of your total weight is fat. When losing weight we want to ensure body fat rather than muscle is being lost. If we do not have enough fat it can be unhealthy as well. Therefore, this measurement helps you to ascertain if your fat levels are health.

How do I get my number?

Body fat is measured using a body fat monitor. There are many different types ranging in different levels of complexity. Please speak to one of your gym team to get tailored advice for you.

Please click here to see body fat levels for your use.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI is a ratio of your height to weight and is used to judge whether you are within a healthy weight range for your height.

How do I get my number?

Simply use this calculator to work out your BMI.

Click for BMI chart

BMI is a good tool for establishing whether the general population are within a healthy weight range and it provides guidance for individuals to understand what weight to aim for to be within a healthy weight range.

Although the BMI tool can be used successfully for most people caution should be used as there are some limitations and should not be used in isolation. For example, if a person has a muscular build they will weigh more and therefore could register a high BMI. In reality, they could be athletic and as a result have a high percentage of muscle versus fat. They could be healthy after all.

BMI is an excellent guide to indicate if someone is over, under or around the correct weight for their height. It is a simple and non-invasive measurement

  1. Take your weight 75
  2. Multiply your height by itself 1.8 x 1.8 = 3.24
  3. Divide your weight by this figure 75 / 3.24 = 23.15

Waist Hip Ratio (WHR)

Circumference measurements can be taken to provide a number which acts as an early indication of risk for illnesses such as diabetes. The WHR is the most common of these.

How do I get my number?

All you need are 2 simple measurements:

  1. A waist circumference measurement from around the point of the naval; and
  2. A circumference measurement at the widest point of the hips

Please here for a WHR table for your use.

Then just divide the first number by the second to give you a WHR. The WHR measurement has been devised to check you are not storing excessive weight around your mid-section.

It is a slightly more invasive measurement to take although it can be accurate enough to perform through your clothing.

It is however an excellent means to identifying where you store your weight, which in itself could prove more important than the weight or percentage of that weight which you have in the first place.

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