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Women Know Your Numbers

Last year, SCORE (reported that businesses owned by women are on the upswing, with increases in revenue, employee hiring and brick and mortar expansion.   The SCORE report also found that women are more likely to start businesses in Healthcare, Education and Innovative Technology.  And as a  woman entrepreneur it is safe to say that you know your numbers, when it comes to accounts payable and receivable, acquisition costs, adventure capital, markets costs and more.

On a more personal note, you definitely know your perfect dress size, bra size,  shoe size for sneakers, flats, sandals, boots and stilettos, etc.  You may even know how many hours of your day you spend at work and how many of those hours you spend at home or with family, but do you know your numbers when it comes to your health and well being?

It is just as important to know the numbers that will allow you to adequately navigate towards a healthy body and lifestyle, as it is to know the numbers which bring you to a healthy, lucrative business.

Consider the following numbers which should reflect “the business of you”:

Check and treat your Blood Pressure:

Blood pressure limits recently changed last year, with a new target for “normal” blood pressure being less than 130/80, down from 140/90.  Almost half of Americans (meaning over 105 million people) now have high blood pressure. HTN is a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke and kidney failure, which is why this change in threshold is long overdue. Heart disease is responsible for one in every three deaths for both sexes, making it the leading cause of death in the United States.

Hydration Helps with Common Illnesses:

Water is the BEST drink choice because it hydrates best.  In addition to that, it helps with

  • Hunger and Overeating
  • Controlling blood sugar
  • Controlling blood pressure
  • Recurrent headaches
  • Chronic constipation

…just to name a few.

Drink at least 6, 8 oz glasses of water each day.  And NO, the water in your coffee or your tea or your soda, doesn’t count.

Diabetes affects us ALL:

Research figures indicate that the number of people living with diabetes is expected to 1 in 3 people, that’s roughly 552 million by the year 2025, if preventative actions are not taken. As of 2015, over 30 million people in the United States have diabetes.  Another 68 million people are estimated to have pre-diabetes or “insulin resistance”.  What numbers should you know?  Your hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c), which is a blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as monitor how well a person is managing their diabetes.

Any woman who falls in the following categories should be tested:

· Any woman with BMI over 25 regardless of age  (A BMI is measurement based on your height and weight, which is a better measure of health risk than just your weight in pounds.)

· Any woman over 45 years old

· Any woman who has had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy), should be tested.

The frequency of testing varies with the category in which you fall.  Between 90% and 95% of people who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. This is when your HbA1c measures at or above 6.5%.

Pre-diabetes (insulin resistance) occurs when your HbA1c is between 5.6% to 6.4%. Pre-diabetes is becoming more common in the U.S., and it greatly increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Take your Cholesterol levels seriously:

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood.  Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high levels can increase your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.  What should your cholesterol levels be?

  • Total cholesterol level:
  • Less than 200 is best.

  • LDL (bad) cholesterol levels:
  • Below 100 is ideal for people who have a higher risk of heart disease.
  • For diabetics, however, your goal is a level below 70, because having the diagnosis of diabetes alone, increases your risk of heart disease.<
  • 70 to 120 is near-optimal.

  • HDL (good) cholesterol levels:
  • less than 50 (women)  means you’re at higher risk for heart disease.

  • Triglycerides:
  • Less than 150 mg/dL is best

As women entrepreneurs, you do more than your fair share of taking care of the company, the employers, the spouse, the children and others.  Please take some time to take care of yourself and more importantly, your health as well.

RECAP – Here are a few numbers know:

  • Hydration, drinking < 6 glasses of water daily
  • High blood pressure, BP > 130/80 mm Hg
  • Higher than normal HbA1c > 5.6%
  • Being overweight, Body Mass Index (BMI) number > 25
  • Higher than normal triglyceride level > 150 mg/dL
  • High “bad cholesterol” (LDL) levels > 110 mg/dL
  • Low “good cholesterol” (HDL) levels < 50 mg/dL for women

If you fall into any of the above categories show concern for yourself and strive to make the necessary changes with the help of your physician towards a healthier lifestyle.

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