No doubt you've seen the big State maps that are found at highway rest stops, or the store layout maps found behind plastic at the local mall. There is usually a red mark or arrow accompanied by the word "You Are Here". The simple logic is that if you want to find out how to get to where you want to go, or how long it might take, you need to know where you are right now. You need bearings and directions.
So today I found the "You Are Here" mark in my physical health. I had a basic health assessment done and I've received the numbers back. (Which, by the way, accomplishes one of my fitness goals for 2012!) In an effort to be transparent, I'll share these numbers with you.
Weight: 180 This is up 15 pounds from my running days and 25 pounds from my marathoning days. (Ouch!)
Body Fat: 21% This is in the average range for men my age and only 1% away from being "Above Average" on the good side.
Pulse Rate: 70 This is in the good range. Not bad since I had 3 cups of coffee before the assesment! I've checked my pulse in the morning before getting out of bed and it's usually between 62 and 65.
Oxygen Uptake: 43 This puts me in the "Excellent" range in aerobic fitness.
Blood Pressure: 127/81 This puts me just above normal (120/80) and into what is considered "pre-hypertensive".
Cholesterol: Total cholesterol 177/HDL 54 This puts me in the "Desireable" range on both counts. My Total to HDL ratio is 3.3, with 4.4 or lower being considered good.
So what do these numbers mean? First, they mean that I can be glad that I'm in decent shape. The numbers say that I've done a reasonably good job of taking care of myself; that the work I've put in over the years has paid off. Second, they say that I need to get to work on a couple of things: lowering by percentage of body fat and my blood pressure (and that I would do well to lower my total cholesterol level a little, too.)
The good news is that there are simple ways to accomplish these things. I need to be more consistent in making healthy food choices. I need to cut my daily caloric intake a little. And I need to maintain my exercise routine. There's my road map.
In about 6 months I'll have these numbers checked again. When I do, I'll let you know how they have changed. Hopefully, they will reflect progress in my areas of need.
Oh, one more thing. Do you know where you are?