Numbers to Know for Your Health

Commit these numbers and number ranges to memory or jot them down somewhere you can easily reference.

  • .8: The average, sedentary, healthy person needs .8grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, per day. So if you weigh 150 pounds (68kg), you’d eat 54g of protein per day. This includes the protein from vegetables, starches, dairy etc. If you’re an athlete you likely need more. The guidelines range from 1.2g-2g protein per kg of body weight per day. If you have any chronic conditions, you’ll want to check with your doctor. You can dig into this more at Precision Nutrition here.
  • 7-9: Hours that is. This the recommended amount of sleep adults should get each day.
  • 120/80 (less than): This is the blood pressure reading you’re aiming for. If your blood pressure is 120-139 or 80-89, you’re medical provider will likely categorize you as prehypertension. As the numbers climb, blood pressure goes through Stages 1 and 2 high blood pressure, up to Hypertensive Crisis. For more information, check out the American Heart Association’s info here.
  • 5: This is the number of servings you should get per day of vegetables and/or fruits.
  • 150: Minutes that is. If you’re doing moderately intense physical activity, you want to get at least 150 minutes in per week. If you’re exercising at a vigorous intensity, the weekly minimum drops to 75 minutes. You can also do some of each and mix it up!
  • 2: This is the number of muscle strengthening training days you want to get in each week. This can be resistance bands or lifting weights, or body weight activities, like Yoga.
  • 100 (less than): This is your target for your LDL cholesterol level (that’s the bad cholesterol).
  • 60 (or more): And this is the target for your HDL cholesterol (that’s the good cholesterol). If you’re confused about the difference between LDL, HDL, and triglycerides, check out this article from Cleveland Clinic.
  • 10% (less than):  The World Health Organization recommendations you hit this target for your daily sugar intake– less than 10 percent of your daily caloric intake.
  • 1,500 (max): This is milligrams. It’s the American Heart Association‘s ideal recommendation for daily salt intake.

Many adults in the U.S. are off these numbers. On average, too much protein, too much sugar, too much salt; not enough sleep, not enough exercise, not enough produce. Knowing your numbers now and knowing what they should be will help you set short- and long-term goals to move you toward better health so you can live your best life!


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