To prevent serious health problems, it is important to have good health habits. You can avoid these problems by keeping up with vaccinations, eating healthy and exercising. Knowing your numbers, such as your cholesterol level, blood pressure, glucose (or blood sugar), body mass index (BMI) and waist measurement can also help you learn what you need to do to stay healthy.
Cholesterol is essential for all animal life. Your cells couldn't live without it. Too much cholesterol in the blood harms your heart and blood vessels. A cholesterol blood test is used to find out if you have high cholesterol. It is almost impossible to have cholesterol levels that are "too low" except in very unusual illnesses.
Testing your blood pressure regularly is important because high blood pressure is painless and shows no symptoms. You can have it for years and not know it until you have serious damage to your heart, kidneys or eyes.
People with diabetes have high blood sugar because they do not have enough insulin in the blood to control their glucose level. Over time, high blood glucose levels will hurt the heart, eyes, feet and kidneys. Because damage can occur without symptoms, it important to check your blood sugar level.
Body mass index (BMI) is used to estimate the amount of body fat a person has based on height and weight. In most cases, the higher your BMI, the more body fat you have. Diabetes and heart disease are two of the many health problems linked to having a high BMI.