The 3 Most Important Numbers in a Man’s Life

Earlier this year, a study published in the British Medical Journal, lead by researchers at Britain’s Oxford University, showed that the total number of heart attacks in the UK had fallen by 50% as a direct result of people living healthier lifestyles.
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Lifestyle Choices make a BIG Difference ( but not everyone wants a new lifestyle!)

DoctorEven those folks that did suffer heart attacks had an improved chance of survival due mainly to a lifestyle change and improvements in treatment. There’s a good chance too, they now understand their ‘numbers’ and keep regular tabs on them.

This trend is not the same globally. Many of you reading here will know someone or know of someone, who has passed away long before their time through heart failure or other fatal illness. Acting upon a little health knowledge can literally mean the difference between life and death, though not everyone heeds the warnings.

Take care of YOURSELF and the Numbers will follow

Become more active whenever possible, consume less food, and eat more nutritious meals. These are the first basic steps towards getting that healthy heart. Being good to yourself in this way will help to keep your figures healthy too.

Understanding how to reduce the risk of heart problems, and other killer conditions before they strike, is knowledge well worth having. Getting a grasp on your ‘numbers’, and monitoring them periodically, is a fantastic way to improve health and wellbeing.

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So what are your Heart Healthy Numbers?

The 3 major numbers that men (and women of course), should be mindful of, especially at middle age and older, refer to the following:

  1. Blood pressure
  2. Cholesterol levels
  3. Waist size

What is Blood Pressure?

In simple terms, your blood pressure is the pressure of blood in your veins, aka arteries. The table below shows the range of BP numbers from good to bad. So the top numerals would be read out by a doctor or nurse as “120 over 80″, which would be a near to ‘normal’ reading.

Understanding Blood Pressure

Table 1. The Blood Pressure Count

Blood Pressure Numbers

We have a free Blood Pressure guide in the right side column which explains how to choose and use a blood pressure monitor for home use. You can read it online, download it as a PDF or view it on an Amazon Kindle

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is basically a kind of fat known as lipid. It’s produced by our bodies. Cholesterol is vital for good health but when levels get too high, they can increase the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. However, we have both good and bad cholesterol numbers to consider as you will see in the tables below.

Our first example shows the total cholesterol figures. These indicate whether or not your cholesterol is too high. This table shows us the best, borderline, and high digits.

Cholesterol Simplified

Table 2. The Total Cholesterol Score

Total Cholesterol Numbers

Click here for a quick explanation on how the total cholesterol number is calculated.

Table 2.1 LDL (Bad) Cholesterol

LDL Cholesterol Numbers

Table 2.2 HDL (Good) Cholesterol

HDL Cholesterol Numbers

Table 2.3 Triglyceride levels

Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the bloodstream and fat tissue. When there is too much cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, the risk to health increases.

Triglycerides Simplified

Triglyceride Numbers

Waist Size (understanding Belly Fat)

Calculating BMI is a great starting point (the Body Mass Index is a measure of a person’s weight in relation to their height), but equally, if not more important, is the measurement around your waist. If you carry too much weight around your middle then you have an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes and coronary heart disease.

The waist measurement table below (irrespective of your height) highlights the risk of developing chronic diseases if you go over a certain size. Note a disparity for Asian men. This is because folks of Asian origin tend to have a higher proportion of body fat to muscle and they also carry this fat around their middle, thus increasing their risk level.

Dangers of a Big Waist and Belly Fat

Table 3. Waist Numbers

Waist Numbers

To end this article I thought it apt to post my own numbers here taken some 6 months ago at the time of writing. There’s a little room for improvement, but no major cause for concern.

  1. Blood Pressure: 111/80
  2. Total Cholesterol: 221
    • HDL Cholesterol (the good one): 88 (this is very good)
  3. Waist: 91cm (about 36 inches)

That’s the end of this article. If you found it useful, please share it with others. Also, feel free to leave any comments below, or join a conversation in the 50ish interactive forums.

About Andy Aitch

Musician, writer, netentrepreneur and founder of 50ish.org, the site created for uniting middle-aged men the world over.

Motto: a man is not old until his dreams become his regrets

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Readers Comments

    Pete Kici says:

    Andii
    I think you have nailed it (figure of speech)the numbers are important if you intend on healthy quality of life these nimbers are critical.There is another number that may add to the quality of life and that is a $$$ ammount for being able to do what you want in life it’s called financial freedom.Most people don’t have that number and work aimlessly toward the so called golden years to find out they are a little short financially.Love your work here excellent site…


      Andy Aitch says:

      Hi Peter, and thanks for your comments.

      A wise man once said to me that money doesn’t buy happiness but it does open up choices, and it is those choices that can bring about a happier life. But money without health is useless. Without health there is little value in life no matter how much once has stashed in the bank.

      I love the saying;

      “He who has health has hope. And he who has hope, has everything”

      Glad you like the site.

      Andy Aitch


    debby sunshine says:

    World-renowned doctor Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of The Cleveland Clinic provides numbers which are radically different from these standards. He states that to be heart attack proof, total cholesterol must be less than 150, LDL should be 80 or less. Not sure of other stats.


      Andy Aitch says:

      Thanks for your comments Debby.

      When it comes health related matters, there will always be some world-renowned experts somewhere that have opposing views to the many. Heck, there are even people out there, both medical and laymen, that think the Atkins Diet is a heart healthy eating plan!

      I guess the point I’m trying to make is that most people will ‘choose’ to believe what is considered the ‘norm’. That doesn’t necessarily mean the majority is always right, but it’s the advice that makes most folks feel safe following.

      With regards to the numbers on this page, there are millions of people worldwide that are way are off the charts, so whether these numbers are the best or not, they’re certainly way better than the numbers many people currently have in Western nations.


    Andy says:

    Hi Andy
    Great tips for those of us entering our middle years! I think that if people concentrated on healthy, natural food instead of processed cans and packets of food, we’d have far less health problems. Raw fruit and vegetables are wonderfully nutritious. If you don’t like raw veg, steam it or cut it thinly and put it into a salad. Add in a little olive oil as part of your dressing, as this helps absorption of the nutrients. On my site, I try to get people to realise the benefits of the colors that the natural world provides us with. Without doubt though, the color missing from many people’s lives is green. Everyone should eat 2 or more green (the darker the better) vegetables a day.


      Andy Aitch says:

      Thanks for your comments Andy 😉

      Old habits die hard, but as someone who has eaten crap foods for most of his life, man and boy, I can tell you that bad habits can be broken. Not only do I look better since changing my lifestyle choices, but I feel and function better too. Health suggestions may be simple, but they’re not always easy to follow through on.

      However, it’s been my experience that once the ball starts to roll, there’s no looking back, or even a desire to return to the way things were. Today, I keep tabs on my health, and my numbers reward me by staying within range.

      I see you a juicing site. This is not something I have gotten into yet, but certainly one area I’m keen to experiment with in the near future. Btw, I’ve also heard that the greener the leaf, the better the veg. I love the simple tips when it comes to choosing the right foods.

      Thanks once again for your comments.

      Andy Aitch



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