Condition Center  |  Return to Main Health Page ›

SparkPeople Health Measurements

Track Your Blood Sugar, Cholesterol, Blood Pressure and More!

Page 1 of 3
You're committing to a healthier lifestyle for plenty of reasons. Whether you want to look better, feel stronger or live longer, you know that regular exercise, adequate sleep and healthy eating can help us do all of those things—and more. Those same habits can also help decrease your risk of chronic diseases and lower your risk factors of heart disease and premature death. Talk about a bonus!

You already track your calories, weight, water intake and fitness minutes on SparkPeople. Why? Because it helps you stay accountable, continue to improve, and see that you're really making valuable progress toward your goals. So why not track your other health measures—blood pressure, cholesterol and more—to see how well you're doing? Health achievements, like lowering your resting heart rate or stabilizing your blood sugar levels, are reasons to celebrate, too. And they show you that all your hard work in the gym and in the kitchen is really paying off.

That's why we recommend recording these health measurements at regular intervals. You can keep these as your own personal health records or share them with your health care provider to help manage and prevent a variety of health conditions. Here's what you'll need to know about measuring, tracking and interpreting your blood pressure, total cholesterol, resting heart rate and blood sugar readings.

Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of blood against artery walls. It is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and recorded as two numbers—systolic (pressure on the arterial walls as the heart contracts) over diastolic (pressure on the arterial walls as the heart relaxes between beats), which is usually written as "120/80" (where 120 is the systolic number and 80 is the diastolic number). Most people get their blood pressure checked when visiting a doctor's office, using a sphygmomanometer, but gyms, personal trainers, and even pharmacies offer blood pressure screenings, too.

In addition, some people with home blood pressure cuffs can check their blood pressures multiple times per day, usually as instructed by a doctor. Knowing your blood pressure readings throughout the day—and day to day—can help you adjust your medication and therapy (for hypertension) throughout the day. As you lose weight on SparkPeople and your blood pressure improves, be sure to share your readings with your doctor and find out if you need to adjust your medication due to weight loss or blood pressure improvement.

Any time you receive a blood pressure reading, whether you're a healthy person who gets a reading at an annual physical, or you have hypertension and track your blood pressure more frequently, you can record it on SparkPeople to check your progress over time.
Continued ›
Page 1 of 3   Next Page ›
Got a story idea? Give us a shout!

About The Author

Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, Nicole loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Nicole was formerly SparkPeople's fitness expert and editor-in-chief, known on the site as "Coach Nicole." Make sure to explore more of her articles and blog posts.

Member Comments

  • I'm 68 and I have asthma and a-fib. My resting heart rate today is 120. No, I'm not out of shape; I've had a cold for 4 days and I'm wheezing now. When I got older I had more and greater challenges against staying healthy. I also had a greater repertoire of health ideas. - 8/21/2014 8:40:52 AM
  • I get my BP and glucose checked regularly and both are always great, with my BP always trending on the quite low side. I was quite happy to read about resting heart rate....isn't it best to test that upon waking, before getting out of bed....and taking an average of several days? I need to do that. - 8/18/2013 9:34:56 AM
  • All my life I had great bp. It run normal low [ 106 to116 over like 70] when it started staying around 140, my dr put me on meds.I am hoping by losing weight I can get off this med ,but I also know when you have diabetes they like you to take it as a prevention of kidney problems. My dr. done this years ago when my pressure was great, I work at a cleaning company and my readings was like 90/50 I could not bend without almost passing out and she told me to keep taking it, this was the one time I didn't do what she said. I didn't want to end up on the floor with injuries. - 9/8/2012 10:20:47 AM
  • I hope you all get/feel better soon. Since I have been doing this faithfully, I have been feeling great ( as long as I don't forget to take my medicine). As I have an AutoImmune disease called Sneddon's Syndrome. It's very rare; it messes with your blood, nerves, bones and whatever else it wants to hurt you with. It's attacked all those and left me with being disabled.

    This healthy, fun, and exciting site has given me hope, joy and feeling great!
    My prayers are with you all.
    - 5/2/2012 5:19:54 PM
  • I think every adult should test their blood sugar at some point, especially if you are over thirty. Test it fasting and then one and two hours after you finish eating a meal. You would be surprised how many people have blood sugar problems but haven't gotten fat, so they think their health is normal. That's a good way to wind up diabetic and not even know it was coming. - 3/1/2011 9:44:44 PM
  • I, too, have Hashimotos, and would like some information about this, and about living with it. Thank you for a wonderful site, for advice and help. You are all doing a GREAT job!! - 12/29/2010 11:38:33 PM
    I think it would be more useful to be able to track BP at least twice a day and to enter the time. That's what my doctor wants to see. - 11/7/2010 12:17:01 PM
    I am postmenopausal for 5 years, taking BHRT, and thyroid meds. I have Hashimoto's but when last checked the antibodies are lowering slowly. Please add and address hypothyroid/Hashi
    moto's to the chronic conditions/dis-ea
    se. I release extra weight very slowly with a vigorous exercise plan and calorie restriction. - 2/8/2010 1:46:22 PM
  • I am in menopause and have METABOLIC SYNDROME/pre-diab
    etes, so this article is very helpful. 57 million Americans have this Syndrome, which is also called Insulin Resistance or Syndrome X. I learned a great deal about it from ARTHUR AGATSTON, M.D.'s book "The South Beach Heart Health Program" which was well worth reading. - 8/14/2009 1:34:22 AM

x Lose 10 Pounds by July 6! Sign up with Email Sign up with Facebook
By clicking one of the above buttons, you're indicating that you have read and agree to SparkPeople's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and that you're at least 18 years of age.