(CARLSBAD, CA) – You see your doctor for an annual physical. Your visits to your dentist, optometrist, and gynecologist are all up-to-date. You exercise, you eat healthy foods, and you don’t smoke. What more can you possibly do to protect your health?
How about performing regular self-exams at home? Do you know what self-checks you can do to keep tabs on your personal well-being? Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett suggests these self-checks at home to catch medical issues before they develop into life altering problems.
1. Become a Palm Reader – Perhaps you’re skeptical of the fortuneteller who claims that your palm reveals the line to love and happiness. Place your skepticism aside when it comes to reading your palm for legitimate medical purposes. Your hands can reveal iron deficiency, something that affects 20 percent of women. Lack of iron causes fatigue, irregular heartbeats, difficulty in concentration, and shortness of breath. Since iron deficiency, commonly known as anemia, can slowly build-up in your system, it’s easy to miss. Check your iron levels by spreading your palm wide and examining the creases. If your creases are particularly pale, regardless of your skin color, it’s a sign of limited circulation caused by low iron levels.
2. Find Your Pulse – More than two million Americans currently live with atrial fibrillation, a leading cause of strokes, but don’t even know they have it. Checking your pulse for an irregular heartbeat can reveal this ailment, and maybe even save your life. Place your finger on your wrist or your neck and feel your pulse for one full minute. If you can’t find a regular rhythm to your pulse, try again later in the day. If your pulse still beats in an irregular pattern, contact your doctor.
3. Puffy Digits – Most women feel bloated after ingesting too much salt or during certain times of the menstrual cycle. If you notice your fingers and other body parts looking puffy for prolonged periods of time, an underactive thyroid may be the culprit. Examine your fingers at various times of the month. If they seem consistently swollen, ask your doctor to check your thyroid.
4. In Your Eyes – The next time that you’re removing your eye make-up, check your lids for any bumps. Small, yellow bumps on your upper lids are a sign that your cholesterol is high. Meanwhile, cobblestone-looking bumps or dark, undereye circles can signal an allergic reaction.
5. Measure Your Midsection – Whether or not you’re overweight, a large midsection is a dangerous sign that you have excess visceral fat, deep-seeded abdominal fat that increases your risk for heart disease. Grab a tape measure and wrap it around your middle. If your waistline is greater than 35 inches (women) or 40 inches (men), then you are at high risk for cardiovascular diseases.
6. Start Counting – Count the number of moles on your body. If you have more than 50, your risk is increased for melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Everyone should get an annual once-over from a dermatologist, but if you have an excess number of moles, make sure you’re also doing a self-exam on a regular basis to look for asymmetrical shapes.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,800 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in all 50 states and 32 countries. For more than 40 years, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive fitness program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.