When it comes to health, stepping on the scales can cause some serious hang-ups. But weight isn’t the only way to gauge good health. In fact, the number isn’t going to tell you about your fitness levels, mental health and well-being – even disease risk. What you really should be doing is listening when things are good, and taking note when they’re not. Your body can deliver you the goods, it’s pretty clever like that.
So, if you’re wanting to see where you stand between checkups (and a series of clinical tests) without stepping foot on a scale, consider these 5 signs you’re healthy.
YOU HAVE A GOOD RESTING HEART RATE
Is your resting heart rate between 60 to 80 beats per minute? Bingo! All your hard work (in and outside the gym) must be paying off. This is a great sign everything is on-track in the health department, with recent studies suggesting a heart rate higher than 76 beats per minute when resting may be linked to a higher risk of heart attack.
YOU EAT WHAT YOUR BODY WANTS (MOST OF THE TIME)
According to the authors of Journal of Obesity, having positive behaviours around food are going to make you healthier and feel better. When you pay attention to how your body responds to certain foods and what happens when you eat, you will find you’ll only eat at the optimum times for your body and stop when you’re full, preventing you from over-indulging to the point of combustion – been there.
Working out which foods promote energy, and those that make you feel bloated and sluggish, will allow you see the true power and potential of food – both pleasurably and functionally.
YOUR HAIR IS THICK AND STRONG
While shedding 80 to 100 hairs a day is normal, says dermatologist Amy Wechsler, if you’re finding more hair down the shower drain than your head, your body might be trying to tell you something. The state of your strands is often a good indicator of overall health, with lackluster hair and hair loss often being a good indicator of being tired, stressed or nutritional deficiencies.
YOU’RE GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP TO FUNCTION
Everyone has their own bed time curfew and things that keep them up at night (hello, Netflix). But according to science, we should be turning in early and getting between 7-9 hours of solid shut-eye each night. So, if you’re not nodding off at the desk or needing to binge your way through the day on coffee just to stay awake, things are looking good.
Learn more about how sleep impacts your fitness performance here.
You probably don’t like to give your bowel movements much thought, but they can tell a pretty good story. Getting familiar with what’s normal for you can make it easier to spot when issues arise. Constipation, cramping, diarrhea, and irregularity are all signs that your digestive system is a little off. But don’t get caught up with day-to-day changes. Look for consistent changes that might be lasting a week or so, and consider whether a change in diet might be the culprit. If you’re ever worried, pencil in a time to chat with your doctor.