Vital Signs

Why You should be monitoring your vital signs 24/7 : The Vital Signs You Should Be Checking Regularly

What is a vital sign you may ask………and why should you care?  A vital sign is a specific measurement that should be routinely monitored and a once or twice a year visit to your GP just won’t cut it.

To live a healthy lifestyle it is critical to check your vitals and keep tabs on your health.

The good news is that monitoring these vital signs yourself is becoming easier and easier and I have to say more fun as you can track and measure – watch your progress, see the improvements to your health and share your statistics with others to help inspire and motivate them.

It is really important for me to be able to test my clients vital signs and now I can do this with more and more easy.  I can now test my clients Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity – this tests how stiff or flexible your arteries are and calculates your risk for heart disease before this could only be done in a hospital with equipment that cost 1000’s of pounds, but I have a very accurate hand held device, produced to the required medical and scientific standards that cost less than £200 and now which is even more exciting ….I have a device that my clients can own and wear and do their own monitoring 24/7.

If you would like more information on how you can monitor your vital signs 24/7 and take control of you health then email me : kerry_vlf@btinterent.com with the subject VITAL SIGNS  and I will send you a 2 minute video to explain more.

Don’t follow the trends, drive the change, improve your lifestyle!

I believe that sooner, rather than later we will be paying for our healthcare, we currently pay indirectly through our taxes etc but I believe this will become more of a direct cost where we pay up front for health services or have to take out private medical insurance to cover this so keeping track and improving out health is now more important than ever.

What should you be monitoring?

Your pulse rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and body temperature are 4 vital signs that we recommend tracking on a regular basis, but I would also recommend tracking your steps, sleep quality and blood sugar levels.

  1. Pulse

Your pulse rate (heart rate) is the number of times that your heart beats in one minute.  A normal healthy pulse rate range is 60 to 100 beats per minute.  Factors such as medication, weight, temperature, emotions and body position will affect and manipulate your beats per minute.

Knowing your regular pulse rate can be critical in gauging your heart’s health.  If your pulse  rate is too high it can mean your medication dosage is off or can even be a predictor of a heart attack.  A slow pulse rate may lead to dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pains, and even passing out.

  1. Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can be extremely dangerous; the worst part is that often there are no symptoms.  You need to measure your blood pressure to detect signs of hypertension (high blood pressure) as this puts extra strain on your arteries and your heart, and if left undetected and resolved this will strain and weaken your arteries.  This makes them thick and inflexible and it is more likely they will become clogged so it is imperative to measure blood pressure consistently.

  1. Body Temperature 

Your body temperature indicates your body’s ability to generate and get rid of heat.  Our bodies are able regulate within a safe narrow temperature range regardless of outside temperatures.  Normal temperatures typically average around 98.6°F (37°C), this may vary by 0.5° – 1.0°F.

Monitoring and understanding what your average body temperature is vital, as typical ranges can vary among different people. Once again knowing your body is important because you will then understand what is abnormal for you.  The body’s way of fighting off an infection is through a fever, it raises your internal body temperature, but temperatures over a certain range can become dangerous.  When you are ill, it is important to have access to monitoring your fever in case a dangerous spike occurs, or so you know if your high temperature has been present for an abnormally long period of time.

  1. Breath Rate

Your breath or respiratory rate is the amount of breaths taken within one minute.  A regular respiration rate for adults is between 16 to 20 breaths per minute, if it is below 12 or over 25 breaths while resting this is considered abnormal.  Medical monitoring of this vital sign is neglected and most of time it is not even measured at your doctor’s visit.

Your respiratory system is what delivers oxygen for your body’s energy production, and is responsible for removing carbon dioxide.  Your breath rate can actually be a predictor of illnesses, as well as providing valuable information about your cardiac, neurological, and pulmonary conditions.

Stay ahead of your health, detecting breathing abnormalities can be indicators of an underlying health condition.

  1. Steps

10,000 steps/day seems to be a reasonable estimate of daily activity and can be traced to Japanese walking clubs 30+ years ago.  Studies are emerging documenting the health benefits of attaining similar levels.  Depending on your age, your job etc this may vary but there is no denying that people who set a goal or have a challenge will be more active.

I have found myself running up and down the stairs just to get those last few steps in to complete my daily goals, many of my colleagues and I have clients who are part of a group and share their progress, this motivates them to increase their daily steps, so as with everything else monitoring your steps helps to keep you motivated and keeping up your steps daily will contribute to your long term and overall health.

  1. Sleep quality

Sleep is essential for a healthy heart. People who don’t sleep enough are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease — regardless of age, weight, smoking and exercise habits.  A tired brain isn’t able to communicate effectively or efficiently and this can lead to imbalances and unhealthy habits.  Poor sleep is linked to a weakened immune system as well as mental health problems such as anxiety and depression

Sleep is as important to our health as eating, drinking and breathing. Our bodies repair and our brains consolidate our memories and process information whilst we sleep.

We all know whether we are asleep or not so you may question why you need to monitor your sleep but this is because we have different levels of sleep depending on our brain waves, so you can have light sleep or very deep restorative sleep and by monitoring what portion of the night you spend in a deep restorative sleep you can then take measures to improves your sleep hygiene : such as adjusting exposure to light, changing the temperature in your bedroom to changing your eating, drinking and exercise routines which can help you sleep better.

  1. Blood sugar levels

Blood sugar testing is an vital part if diabetes management but new research is coming out all the time identifying sugar as a major health risk not only for diabetes but for Alzheimer’s and dementia – “Eating sugar and refined carbs can cause pre-dementia and dementia”  Dr Mark Hyman.  Our diet and lifestyle impacts our health and a great way to monitor this is to monitor your blood glucose levels, it is one of the major factors that starts the brain damage cascade that leads to chronic illness.

Your vital signs are far more important than you might think.  Understanding and knowing what is normal for you will help you to detect early signs of underlying health issues.  You will be able to perceive what is considered healthy or unhealthy for YOU.  Regular monitoring of your pulse rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate and temperature gives you control of your health.  I encourage you to monitor these vitals and personally monitor your everyday health.

Before you start to panic about how you keep a check and track all of these Vital signs, I have good news!!  As I mentioned earlier I am very excited as I now have access to a brand new wearable technology that is a game changer in healthcare, it is brand new in the UK and allows you to continually measure and track these vital signs – give yourself a head start on detecting if anything is abnormal for you and if necessary seek help before experiencing any effects that may be detrimental to your health.

I love the statement that your fork is the most powerful tool to transform your health, but I am now adding this wearable technology to that statement : Don’t follow the trends, drive the change, improve your lifestyle – if you would like more information on how you can monitor your vital signs 24/7 and take control of you health then email me : kerry_vlf@btinterent.com with the subject VITAL SIGNS  and I will send you a 2 minute video to explain more.  All I am asking for is 2 minutes of your time!

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