Our girth is measured by body mass index (BMI), which correlates weight to height. The average BMI for men and women is 28, with a waist circumference of almost 40 inches for men and 37 inches for women. But we want a BMI of 25. Men should have less than a 37-inch waist, a woman 32.
Why? Lower BMI levels translate to lower rates of heart disease and diabetes. BMI is not a fool proof number, but it does provide a good gauge.
We're supposed to be getting two to four servings of fruit and three to five servings of veggies a day. However, men average less than three, women less than four.
But it is incredibly easy to sneak servings in to most meals and snacks. Sneak some veggies into pasta, rice dishes, even eggs for more color and flavor.
It matters because produce contains disease fighting compounds along with water, fiber, vitamins and minerals. By adding more to your plate, you lower the calories of the meal and you feel fuller.
Other things to be better at is keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels lower than average as both are risk factors for heart attacks.
How fast you walk and your ability to rise from a chair can predict longevity. A study of over 3,000 retirees found those with the slowest gait were 50 percent more likely to die within seven years. So the ability to walk briskly and stand up quickly counts.
For those 70 or older, see how quickly you can stand up and sit down without using your arms five times in a row. The average is about 14 and a half seconds for women and men. Try to beat that.
And how is your balance? According to Consumer Reports on Health, the average for standing on one leg with arms folded across your chest is about 43 seconds for those 18 to 39, 40 seconds for those 40 to 49, and 37 seconds for those 50 to 59. The longer you can balance on one leg the better. Try this exercise on each leg, then try it with your eyes closed, but do stand next to a counter or piece of furniture for safety.
Cholesterol levels: 119 mg per deciliter for LDL and 53 mg per deciliter for HDL or good cholesterol.
Goal: Under 100 mg/dl for LDL and 60 mg/dl for HDL
Average blood-pressure levels: 127 over 77
Goal: 120 over 80