Your Health By Numbers


If someone told you all you need to know is six important numbers, you’d jump for joy (because, really, who loves math and all the numbers – and letters – that make it miserable?). If someone told you all you need to know is six numbers to maintain optimum health, you’d really be excited. There are so many things going on in life that we don’t all have the kind of time it takes to live as healthy as possible, which is where these six crucial numbers come in handy.


This is the number of times you need to check your skin each month for growths, new spots or anything else that seems questionable or of any concern. The National Skin Cancer Foundation recommends you give yourself a casual (thorough) once over every month. The best way to do this is to ask your husband or significant other for help and/or to stand in front of your mirror in the buff to check out your body for anything that doesn’t look like it belongs.


This is the number of months your toothbrush should stay in your bathroom. Any longer than this and you are officially gross. Or, if you’re like me and your brush your teeth with the kind of strength you use in the gym, you might need to replace it more often because you’ve officially killed the bristles. Whatever you do, however, don’t go more than four months without replacing your brush.


The age your kids move out of the house and you get your life back – kidding! When it comes to 18, you need 18 inches of dental floss each day. This is what dentists recommend you use to keep your teeth clean and healthy.


Translated, this means you don’t need more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar during the day. This is actually less than the amount of sugar in one soda, which means most people ignore this little number rule. The average adult, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey database, consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar on a daily basis. That’s almost 400 calories – and we all know you don’t want that.


Age is nothing but a number, and this is the number in age you should be when you get your thyroid levels checked with a blood test and continue to do so on a five-year basis. This hidden hormone issue could cause you to gain weight and feel fat, make you feel fatigued  and even cause you to feel as if you’re in a perpetual fog.


The magic number of exercise you need each week to maintain great health is 150. It breaks down to just over 21 minutes per day of exercise to help you get physically fit and in great shape. You can do it. Two and a half hours a week is nothing – it’s not even three of your favorite primetime television shows and you always make time for those.

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)


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