How to Check Your Vital Signs

It is important to keep track of your vital signs. What are vitals? Vital signs are measurements of the body’s basic functions. Vitals can include blood pressure, body temperature, oxygen levels, sugar levels, pulse, heart rate, etc. Like weight, extreme changes in your vital health can be a symptom of an underlying health problem. My Health Journals help you track your vitals with detailed tracking charts and examples on how to track your vitals. You can’t always rely on doctors to keep track for you. Here are the vital signs you should be tracking on a regular basis:

1) Body Temperature: you can track your body temperature with a thermometer. Especially with the current health crisis in full force, tracking your body temperature is even more important than ever before. Thermometers are available at any pharmacy or on Amazon. Normal body temperatures range from 97°F (36.1°C) to 99°F (37.2°C), anything higher it is recommended you stay home and call a physician, urgent care or 9-1-1. 

2) Blood Pressure: track your blood pressure at your local pharmacy. According to Public Health of Canada, the top number, bottom number or both numbers could indicate that you have high blood pressure. Blood pressure levels lower than 120/80 mmHg are considered normal.

3) Pulse/Heart Rate: check your heart rate by checking your pulse. You can place two fingers on your wrist, or visit your doctor for assistance. When you feel your pulse, count the number of beats in 15 seconds. Multiply this number by four to calculate your beats per minute.There are plenty of tools to help us track our pulse and heart rate nowadays. You can use a Fitbit or an Apple Watch to get some help in this area. A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute according to the Canadian Heart and Stroke foundation.

4) Respiration: to measure your respiratory rate, count the number of breaths for an entire minute or count for 30 seconds and multiply that number by two.

5) O2 Sats (Oxygen Saturation): track your O2 Sats with a pulse oximeter. If you do not have a pulse oximeter, check with your doctor. A Normal arterial blood oxygen saturation level varies between 75–100 percent, according to Medical News Today.

6) Sugar Levels: check your glucose levels or blood sugar levels with a glucose meter. If you do not have a glucose meter, please visit your doctor. Diabetes Canada suggests that fasting and before meals your blood sugar levels should be: 4.0 to 7.0 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Whereas 2 hours after meals, your blood sugar levels should be 5.0 to 10.0 mmol/L. 

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