Hopefully, you see your GP at least once a year for an annual physical and blood test. I just had my annual and have some observations on things to look for…
• PSA – While there is some controversy on the validity of this test truly indicating the presence of Prostate cancer, I am still a Believer. Remember, it is not your “number” that matters, it is the CHANGE in your number from last year. Since my encounter with Prostate Cancer and operation five years ago, my number is “not detectable.”
• Cholesterol – The current rule of thumb targets to have your total cholesterol under 200. Since I have an extreme heart history in my family and my number had crept up to 271, I had been on statins (Zokor, Lipitor, etc) for nearly 25 years, and my number annually had been 160-170. Last year, with my doctor’s approval, I took myself off any pills … and guess what? My number stayed at 170! (With HDL at 66 and LDL at a reasonable 102).
• Blood Pressure – The benchmark is usually something around 120/70, not wanting to see it too high – or too low. Mine was 110/66.
• Resting Pulse – For me, the number of beats per minute is a great measure of the efficiency and fatigue of your heart muscle. The lower the better. The higher the number, either means your heart is working much too hard to pump blood or you have been working out way too much and it is fatigued. According to an online chart (click HERE), the average senior man has theirs in the 70s, with “good” being in the 60s and “great” being in the 50s. Mine was a super 50 (when I did it in bed that morning, it was 44!).
Do you have any other Vital Signs you look for?
So, check your numbers. I want to play with you for many more years to come!