Stay on Top of Your Body and Mind This National Self-Check Month
How healthy you are today will determine how good you will feel waking up tomorrow, and nobody wants to wake up feeling awful on the get-go. Therefore, your health should be the #1 priority in your life, ahead of everything including work. After all, if things go south in your life, your body will be the only thing that will always stay with you, so it’s our job to make sure it’s as healthy as it can be, and what better day to do self-checks than during National Self-Check Month.
If you want to get ahead of any health problem, and make sure your body doesn’t surprise you with anything bad, doing these 5 Self-Checks is a good start.
1. Look for signs of skin damage
The first place you should have a visual of is your skin. Our skin is the most exposed to the outside world, especially the areas around our face, neck, arms, and legs. This makes the skin prone to environmental factors that may cause skin damage or trigger some “invisible” skin problems that won’t show themselves unless you go to the trouble of checking them.
Watch out for weird scars, moles, “patches,” lumps, or anything that you think does not belong on your skin. Don’t be afraid to “feel” certain parts of the skin that may be sensitive - there are skin problems that we wouldn’t immediately see in front of a mirror.
2. Do a stair test
A stair test is simply climbing several steps in a given timeframe to test exercise capacity. This can test your cardiovascular health, your leg power, and if you’re out of shape. More importantly, a stair test will tell you if you need to go see a cardiologist.
Measuring how fast you climb four flights of stairs is a good start. The standard is set at 4 flights per minute.
3. Calculate your BMI
The BMI is measured by knowing your weight and height. You may check your BMI via a BMI calculator like this one. The healthy range is between 18.5-24.9. Anything below or over that can sometimes need some attention, but not always, especially if you’re working out regularly and the bulk of the weight comes from lean muscle.
Still, the BMI is a good way to gauge if you're at risk for certain health problems tied to being over or underweight.
4. Check your nails
People tend to overlook their nails. However, brittle nails can indicate nutrient deficiency, especially iron. It’s not usually serious, and sometimes supplementation is enough to compensate.
In severe cases, brittle nails that don’t “fix” themselves despite supplementation and dietary modifications warrant the need for a visit to your physician.
5. Monitor your heart
Depending on who you ask, how healthy your heart is can determine how healthy you are overall. If your heart is strong, there’s a good chance that you’re pretty strong overall. If your heart isn’t doing well, you are likely easy to tire, run out of breath too fast, and have difficulty performing strenuous activities.
Two of the easiest ways to self-check your heart at home is by measuring heart rate and blood pressure. There are many tools you can use nowadays to measure these, and many of them come with apps for smartphones. If you’re getting bad results consistently, consider a visit to a cardiologist to know what’s up and if you need to change or add something in your lifestyle.
National Self-Check Month was made to make sure everyone is on top of their health at least once a year. Not only will self-checking help you find problems earlier, it will also increase your chances of recovery as well as prevent any health issue from becoming worse.