Wellness begins with knowing your health numbers

April 4, 2018

GOSHEN, Ind. – Blood pressure, heart rate and body mass measurements are more than numbers on a screen. They tell an important story about a person’s overall health and wellbeing. The numbers also give warning signs of potential health risks.

That’s what Tom Swoveland learned when he signed up for a Wellness Wednesday screening at Goshen Health. Swoveland knew his health numbers from six years ago, the last time he’d had a screening. He thought his blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels were still good. However, he was concerned about how his shrinking stature may affect his health, as he ages. Swoveland knew it was time to find out where he stood.

He was right. His numbers had started to creep into the risky zone. Even though he felt fine, he learned what could happen if he didn’t get his numbers under control.

“I need to change a few habits,” said Swoveland. “I want to be here for a long time.”

Swoveland appreciates the personal approach that’s part of Goshen Wellness Wednesdays. Swoveland felt comfortable asking questions about his numbers. He also took home easy-to-understand information about food choices and activities that could keep his numbers in a normal range. Now he feels more confident that he can improve his numbers.

“We want to help people be more aware of their health and how their everyday choices can make a difference,” said April Chew, MS, RN, who is a regular screener at Goshen Wellness Wednesdays. 

Whether it’s fast food, smoking habits or late night binges, everyday choices make a difference in energy levels, concentration and outlook on life. Those choices also can take a toll on long-term health.

Many people Chew sees at the screenings don’t understand the serious risks related to their health numbers. For example, blood pressure numbers can slowly creep higher without any warning signs, she explained. That causes a false sense of wellness. It’s also why high blood pressure is considered the “silent killer.”

Swoveland is grateful to know what his numbers mean before they cause damage to his heart or arteries. He also plans to talk with his doctor about his health numbers. 

“Now I know it’s important to keep checking my numbers all the time,” he said. “It’s the only way to keep the numbers where they should be.”

His wife Ronda is pleased that her husband wants to take a more active role in his health. “I want him around for a long, long time,” she said.

Goshen Health offers a variety of health screenings throughout the year. To find out more, please call (574) 364-2496. 

Tom Swoveland, Goshen Health Wellness Wednesday participant and his wife Ronda Swoveland.