Proof in the Pudding (and Vital Signs)

I was at the doctor for my yearly physical last week and the nurse made my day.  She was taking my vital signs and after she did my blood pressure and heart rate, she said “are you a runner?”  I told her yes.  She said she could tell from my low blood pressure and resting heart rate.

It wasn’t really a surprise to me.  I know my vital signs are good because I am very physically active at my job and I run half and full marathons.  But to have a complete stranger be able to guess my physical activity hobby based on my vital signs was a pretty good feeling.  Of course I partly get geeked out by this because I’m an exercise specialist who knows the science behind good health and what it should look like.  And when the nurse saw it in me, that’s a sense of accomplishment.

Outwards appearance, including waist circumference, is telling of a person’s health.  But more importantly we need to know what’s going on inside the body.

  • How strong is the heart?  Is it able to pump essential blood throughout the body?
  • How much resistance (cholesterol and plaque build-up in the arteries) does the heart have to overcome to circulate blood?

Don’t ignore your vital signs.  This is something the general population is uneducated about.  Healthy blood pressure and a low resting heart rate means your heart can sufficiently and efficiently pump blood (and thus nutrients) easily throughout your body.  When we build up that resistance, the pump (“heart”) wears out.
How’s your blood pressure?  What about your resting heart rate?

Those are my thoughts. What are yours?

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