Fast Lane to Optimal Health: The TurboCharged Five


By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) — For those looking to accelerate their goals of a healthier body in 2016 and beyond, here are five manageable suggestions.

  1. Body Composition: Focus on the ratio of lean body mass (which includes your muscles and essential organs) to fat –not what the scales says about weight, weight loss or BMI.  Dieting efforts often result in the loss of lean body mass (LBM), particularly muscles, which lowers metabolic rate.  It is the loss of LBM which makes traditional dieting programs so difficult to maintain over any meaningful length of time.  The body recognizes the loss of LBM, instinctively seeing it as a survival threat and initiates primal hunger signals as a result. Basically, the brain will halt all fat loss if it perceives that muscle or essential organs are being threatened from dieting or poor diet. Go to to calculate body fat percentage on the free measurement scale.
  2. Blood Pressure: Known as the silent killer because there are usually no symptoms, it is very important to know your blood pressure readings.  It is usually the first thing measured at any doctor or medical visit.  The good news is that blood pressure can be favorably influenced and controlled by a proper diet and lifestyle in almost all cases.  120/70 is still considered ideal.
  3. Hydration Level: Most people are is a state of mild chronic dehydration.  Processed foods, sugar, salt and alcohol have a dehydrating effect on our bodies.  To complicate matters, we often mistake thirst for hunger which makes the problem worse.  The key is eating plenty of high moisture content foods and drinking adequate amounts of water.  The most important time for water is first thing in the morning right after waking up.  Everyone is dehydrated in the morning.  Body composition scales designed for home use are reasonably priced and will give not only your weight, but more importantly, your body fat percentage and water percentage.  A 60% water reading is a good target.
  4. Resting Heart Rate: An average resting heart rate is usually between 60 – 90 beats per minute.  In most cases the lower the number the better because RHR is a good indicator of overall cardiovascular health; Getting the job done with less beats per minute means less stress on your heart over time.  Once again proper diet and adequate activity have a positive effect.  Many athletes maintain RHR’s below 50.  The easiest way to check is to find your pulse on your wrist or neck and count the beats for 6 seconds, and then add a zero to that number.  For example if you count 7 beats in 6 seconds your pulse would be 70.
  5. Steps Per Day:  Instead of counting minutes of exercise per week, we recommend keeping track of the number of steps you take each day.  This can easily be done with an inexpensive pedometer.  Sitting for long periods of time has been identified as an independent risk factor which cannot be adequately countered by 3 or 4 weekly trips to the gym or the usual weekly guidelines times for exercise.  Of course, these activities are still better than nothing but we recommend more daily activity measured by the number of steps you accumulate.  10,000 steps is an ideal daily goal.  It may seem like a lot but remember everything counts.  The more time you spend up on your feet and moving, the better and it adds up quickly.

If you work on continually monitoring and improving these five markers you will be moving rapidly down the road to optimal health.

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