7. Blood Pressure (YEARLY)
WHAT IT MEASURES: The pressure exerted on artery walls when your heart contracts (called systolic pressure, the top number) and the pressure when your heart relaxes (or diastolic, the bottom figure).
WHY IT’S KEY: High systolic pressure is one of the most direct determinants of cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association. High blood pressure can damage blood vessels throughout your body, harming your brain, kidneys, extremities, and more. Exercise, weight loss, limiting sodium intake, eating potassium-rich foods like sweet potatoes and edamame, and cutting back on booze can help.
AIM FOR: 120/80 or lower.
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