Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on 9-11. Volunteer today

AARP The Magazine

Dr. Oz's Health Guide for Men and Women

America's most famous TV doctor offers his prescription for living a good, long life

5 Numbers Everyone Should Know

Blood Pressure

About one in three people has high blood pressure, the driving force behind heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. Because high blood pressure often has no symptoms, you'll need to keep track of your own numbers. The systolic pressure — the top number — should never be over 120.

Waist size

Waist size is one of the strongest predictors of heart disease and diabetes. Measure yours by placing a measuring tape around your waist above your hip bone and below your rib cage. It should be less than half your height — about 35 inches for a man and 321/2 inches for a woman.


More than 60 percent of adults in the United States are overweight, and one-third are obese. For the average woman standing 5 feet 4 inches, the starting point for obesity is 175 pounds. The average man standing 5 feet 9 inches is obese if he weighs 196 pounds. Losing just 10 pounds can help.


Your cholesterol levels are measured with a simple blood test. But the total cholesterol number is not as important as knowing your HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. HDL should be above 40 mg/dL for a man and 50 mg/DL for a woman. LDL should be below 100 mg/dL.

Blood Sugar

Elevated blood sugar levels can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, even Alzheimer's disease. For the most accurate measurement, fasting blood sugar must be taken at least eight hours after eating. A fasting blood sugar reading above 100 is considered prediabetic.

Visit the AARP home page every day for great deals and for tips on keeping healthy and sharp

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.



Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members save 15% on easy listening devices and more at the HearUSA Hearing Shop.

membership schwanns discount

Members save $20 on their first grocery delivery order from Schwan's Home Service™.

reebok membership benefit discount

Members can save 20% on their entire purchase at Reebok Outlet Stores and

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.