3 Vital Signs to Start Tracking from Home
Understanding Vital Signs
What are vital signs?
Vital signs are measurements of your body's most basic functions and are often routinely checked by doctors and healthcare providers to understand the larger picture of your health.
Three of the main vital signs include body temperature, pulse rate, and respiration rate (though weight, height, and blood pressure are often included).
Tracking and knowing your vital signs helps detect medical issues or helps monitor pre-existing problems. Though vital signs can be measured by professionals at hospitals, clinics, or other medical settings, you can also track most of your vital signs yourself from home.
Typical vital signs for adults vary in numbers depending on your age, gender, and previous health records. MedlinePlus lists that, while at rest, normal vital signs for healthy adults by category are1:
Keep reading for a quick overview of each of the three main vital signs and how you can start tracking them from home.
What is Body Temperature?
Your body temperature varies depending on your gender, recent physical activity, food consumption, hydration levels, the time of day, and, if you menstruate, at what stage of the cycle you're currently in.2
An average body temperature is between 97.8°F to 99.1°F (36.5°C to 37.3°C); average 98.6°F (37°C).
How to Measure Body temperature?
You can check your body temperature manually with a thermometer.
In many cases, a health and fitness wearable will track it automatically for you throughout the day with their built-in temperature sensors.
What is Pulse Rate?
Your pulse rate is your heart rate. It's the number of times your heart beats in one minute. A pulse rate is calculated by how many times your heart pushes and contracts the blood through your arteries.
A healthy pulse rate for men and a healthy pulse rate for women is approximately 60 to 100 beats per minute.
How to Measure Pulse Rate?
You can check your pulse by placing two fingers on the inside of your wrist, below your thumb, and counting each pulse accurately for one minute.
A health and fitness wearable will automatically and continuously track your pulse for you throughout the day with their built-in sensors.
What is Respiration Rate?
Your respiration rate is the number of breaths you take in one minute. The respiration rate is usually calculated when you're at rest.3
A normal respiratory rate for healthy adults without any troubled breathing is approximately 12 to 18 breaths per minute.
How to measure Respiration Rate?
To measure your respiratory rate, you can either check your health and fitness wearable as many will track it automatically for you throughout the day, or you can wait to count how many times your chest rises for one minute while at rest. Don't forget to start a timer!
Why you should track, measure, and monitor your vital signs from home
Monitoring vital signs is commonplace in doctors' offices and medical settings, especially when it comes to preventative care. It's important to get them checked regularly in order for you and your doctor to have an understanding of your overall health and wellness. It also helps to spot if there are changes that could indicate a disease or illness. Early detection has been shown to be key in saving and improving patients' lives.4 However, the traditional method of monitoring your vital signs only twice a year (or less) at your regular doctor appointments creates a higher risk for undetected and untreated illnesses and diseases.
Wearable devices and monitors are developed to incorporate multiple health and wellness sensors, intelligent processing, and even emergency alarm options to aid your medical decisions and facilitate interactions with your healthcare provider.4
Adopting health and fitness wearables into your lifestyle is easier than you think- especially with the number of options available to you! Wearables such as fitness watches are the most well-known and allow for continuous monitoring and measuring of your health metrics. It's the best way to access reliable information about your health at any time.
Track, measure, and monitor your vital signs from home easily with a wearable device and be the first to know of any subtle or drastic changes in your health.
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