Self-monitoring is the first step in an effective program of early detection.

  • Sleep numbers to include total sleep, restful sleep, average heart rate, heart rate variability
  • Body Weight and associated measures like Body Mass index (BMI)
  • Eyesight
  • Hearing
  • Posture – while sitting, standing, and walking
  • Amount of daily activity
  • Ability to balance

And, of course, this should include your vital signs:

  • Body temperature
  • Heart rate or pulse
  • Respiration rate (rate of breathing)
  • Blood pressure

For each item above, know the medical benchmarks (or normal values) for your age, height, weight, and sex. Compare your readings to these norms and benchmarks to gain insight into your fitness and health.

Pay particular attention to changes in each of the above. Changes in physical condition can occur in a very stealthy manner. Be aware of any changes (e.g., weight gain, breathing patterns, worsening eyesight, etc.). Take necessary action to address adverse changes.

Be cautious of the following: “well, I am just getting older.” Adopt an attitude of never giving in.