Want to know how healthy you are right now? Here are 4 quick-and-easy, do-it-yourself tests that’ll tell you whether you’re fine – or it might be time to see a doctor:

  • Check your hairbrush. Experts say it’s normal to lose about 100 hairs a day. But, if you suddenly start losing more than that, see your doctor. Because a vitamin deficiency or a thyroid problem might be to blame.
  • Check your fingernails. If there’s streaky line that runs from the tip of your nail into the cuticle, see a doctor ASAP. That’s one of the symptoms of melanoma skin cancer. And nails that are dark near the tip, but turn whitish about halfway down, could signal kidney trouble.
  • Step on the scale every day. Researchers at Brown University and the University of North Carolina found that people who weigh themselves daily are twice as likely to maintain their weight as those who don’t. And because “gradual weight creep” is responsible for everything from arthritis to heart attacks. If you’re gradually gaining weight no matter what you do, talk to your doctor to rule out any medical conditions.
  • Do 25 vigorous jumping jacks. This 60-second health test could keep you out of the ICU. If the jumping jacks tire you out, you could be at risk for heart problems or other chronic diseases. So, talk to your doctor about starting an exercise program. And to test whether you’re getting fitter, or holding steady, do 25 jumping jacks at the same time every day. Your goal is to get to the point where that raises your heart and breathing rate only a little.

Lesson Expert

Mike Christian

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