Mazlan has a passion for health and fitness. He enjoys yoga, cycling, home workouts, and healthy food.

How Do You Know If You Are Healthy?

Mother nature has a way to solve our problems and tell us in advance that a problem is on its way. Our health does not simply fail in a day. It deteriorates over time and if we are well informed, we can tell from the early signs that we will be in poor health.

Are You Physically Fit and Healthy?

We can also tell if someone is healthy by looking at them. So, how do you know if you are physically fit and healthy?

(Note: These telltale signs are only symptoms and you should consult your doctor if it is an indication of specific health issues. If you don't take the necessary steps to remedy these symptoms, the health issues can develop into something serious).

How to Know if You Are Healthy Infographic

How to Know if You Are Healthy Infographic

Signs You are Fit and Healthy

Here are 10 tell-tale signs that you're fit and healthy (or 10 visual signs you are actually not healthy):

  1. Waking up without an alarm clock.
  2. Urine color.
  3. Bowel movement.
  4. Nail color and texture.
  5. Your eyes.
  6. Your skin.
  7. Sense of smell,
  8. Your tongue.
  9. Heart rate.
  10. Body mass index.

1. Can You Wake Up Without an Alarm Clock?

If you can wake up without an alarm clock at about the same time every day, then you are well-rested.

Based on a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, respondents who are natural risers were well-rested compared to respondents that use an alarm to wake up.

We all need a good night's sleep to be well-rested. A well-rested body means your internal systems are working right and your healthy body is functioning well.

This is important for good health. Lack of sleep or a good rest is physically and mentally tiring during the day and can be a sign of heart disease, overweight problem, or even stroke.

Some people try to make up for the late nights by sleeping longer on weekends. This is a wrong strategy for sleep deprivation and also signs you're unhealthy.

2. A Healthy Urine Color

Keeping Your Body Hydrated is part of staying healthy. You must drink at least eight glasses of water a day. You need to drink more if you worked in the sun and sweat or played sports or did a workout. As reported in Harvard School of Public Health's publication, staying hydrated keeps joints lubricated, delivers nutrients to cells, prevents infections, improves cognition, regulates body temperature, improves sleep quality and mood.

To know if you are well hydrated, check your urine color. The urine color chart as shown below (courtesy of healthdirect. gov.au) should be used as a guide only and not replaced advice from medical personnel.

The Normal Urine Color of a well-hydrated person is pale yellow or straw yellow. Any other colors can be due to health issues, the food you take, medications, drugs, or supplements that you are taking. Stop taking these medications, drugs, or supplements for a few days to recheck your urine color. If your urine is orange or dark brown in color, it is a sign of dehydration or due to medicine or food that you took.

Foamy Urine means eating too much protein, more than what your body can absorb. If you have this on a regular basis, you should see a doctor as it can be an indication of gallbladder or kidney problems.

Cloudy Urine or Milky Urine can be due to some foods you ate or the balance of your semen that had remained in the urinary tract. If this problem persists, it can lead to urinary tract infection (normally with a burning urination), kidney or gallbladder problems.

Blood in the Urine is serious enough for you to see your doctor immediately.

Urine color chart - Use this as a guide only and should not replace the advice of medical personnel.

Urine color chart - Use this as a guide only and should not replace the advice of medical personnel.

3. Your Bowel Movement

The quality and quantity of what goes out of your digestive system is another telltale sign of the state of your health.

You Are Healthy If:

  • Your bowel movement is about the same time every day.
  • Your stool is large, soft, and easy to pass. It will also sink.

In the study by the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Sweden, the normal stool frequency is between three per week and three per day.

Signs That You Are Not Healthy:

  • Irregular bowel movement or not going for a few days (can be from lack of fiber, constipation, medication, lack of water, not having breakfast, etc.).
  • It floats and stinks! (can be from the unabsorbed fat).
  • Stool colors are either bright red (can be from your food or hemorrhoid), too dark (can be from your iron pill supplement or internal bleeding) or pale or gray color (can be due to pancreatic or digestive tract problems).
  • Stool textures are hard & dry (can be from your medications, lack of water and fiber), look like small lumps (can be due to lack of fiber & water, high protein low carbohydrate diet) watery or loose stool (can be from viral or bacterial infection or a sudden increase in fiber) and slim and slender shape, like a pencil (can be an indication of colon cancer).

In another study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 174, Issue 5, 1 September 2011, infrequent bowel movements may contribute to higher than average Parkinson’s disease risk.

What Does Poop Look Like if You Are Healthy?

Refer to the poop color chart (courtesy of Healthline) and type of poop and appearance chart (courtesy of Medical News Today) to check if you are healthy.

Use it as a quick guide only and it should not replace advice from medical personnel.

Poop chart color

Poop chart color

Types of poop and its appearance

Types of poop and its appearance

4. Nail Color & Texture - Signs of Health Problems

There are several testing methods to diagnose diseases including taking blood samples, urine samples, etc. The study by Vipra Sharma and Manoj Ramaiya uses nail color and texture as an analysis for disease detection. This study was published in Researchgate publication/285603411.

Signs of good health are nails with a smooth surface, pink in color, and firm when touched.

The following are visual signs of poor health. So, check with your doctor:

  • dry and brittle that can easily split: thyroid problems.
  • white nail: liver problems such as hepatitis.
  • yellowish, thick, and slow-growing: lung problem.
  • yellowish with a slight blush at the base: diabetes.
  • half white & half pink: kidney problem.
  • pale with a whitish nail bed: anemic with low red blood cell count.
  • thin, concave, and with raised ridges: lack of iron.
  • rippling surface: arthritis.

5. What Your Eyes Say About Your Health

The eyes and eye areas can tell a lot about your health and can be used as signs of health.

In the report published in the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the eyes can reveal signs of declining health - health problems such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.

Below are telltale signs of health problems:

  • If you see lumpy yellowish patches on your eyelid, it can be an indication of high cholesterol
  • The white part of your eye is turning yellowish: a symptom of jaundice
  • Brown spot on the eyelid can be a form of skin cancer
  • Eyes that appear to bulge can be an indication of an overactive thyroid.

6. Skin an Indicator of Health

Do you know that your skin is a good indicator and sign of good health? If you are not well, it shows in your skin. As stated by Dr. Owen of the American Academy of Dermatology, unusual skin markings can indicate a medical problem.

We spend time and money to take care of our faces. We put on moisturizer and sunblock but failed to observe the skin color for signs of any health issues.

So, check for these visual signs if you're unhealthy:

  • Yellowish skin - signs of an underactive thyroid.
  • A velvety patch near the neck or armpit can be an indication of diabetes.
  • If your hand or feet have brown discolorations, it can be an early sign of kidney problems.
  • Itchy skin can be an early sign of hepatitis.
  • Dry, dull, ashy skin are early signs of low thyroid.
  • If you are an adult and still struggling with acne, this can be stress, hormone problems, diet, and allergies.

7. You Have a Poor Sense of Smell

As reported in the Harvard Health Publishing Havard Medical School, the loss of smell is a sign of illness. Ailments such as sinus and multiple sclerosis may be linked to the reduced sense of smell. And people with a poor sense of smell have higher risks of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

If you have problems with your sense of smell for things like cinnamon, banana, or even lemon, you are more likely to get Parkinson's disease (based on a study by Annals of Neurology). So, next time when you have that poor sense of smell, go for a check-up as these are signs of being unhealthy.

Loss of smell is also one of the many symptoms of the coronavirus COVID-19.

8. Your Tongue Color And Texture

Your tongue color is also another health indicator. In the study by Li Qinglia and Liu Zhib, of the School of Information Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai, a healthy tongue is usually pink in color and with small nodules. When the color changes and there are lumps and bumps, then these are signs of being unhealthy.

So stick out your tongue and check for the following color and texture:

  • A thin white coating on your tongue is normal and healthy. But a heavy coating can be a fungus infection or overdose of antibiotics or using too much mouthwash.
  • Pale color can be a lack of hemoglobin.
  • Bright red can be lack in iron and vitamin B.
  • Purple can either be high cholesterol or chronic bronchitis.
  • If the texture shows raised red spots, it can be due to drinking hot beverages or a lack of vitamin C.
  • If you have a dry tongue, it can be due to stress.

9. Resting Heart Rate

For most adults, the normal resting heart rate varies between 60-80 bpm (beats per minute). A lower resting heart rate means you have a stronger cardiovascular fitness.

Athletes who are fitter will have about 40 bpm or lower. For tabulation of resting heart rate for men and women of various age groups, check the buzzle.com website.

If your resting heart rate is higher than 80 bpm, then do a cardio workout like jogging, rope skipping, cycling, dancing, etc. to make your heart stronger.

Heart Rate Back to Normal

How long does it take for your heart rate to go back to normal after a strenuous workout or a cardio session? If it takes five minutes or less, you are in good shape. This is one way to check if you are fit and healthy.

10. Body Mass Index BMI

Ideally, you should be within 10 pounds of your ideal body weight. Your ideal weight is measured by the Body Mass Index (BMI), which is based on height and weight. It also varies according to your age and gender. To check your BMI, go to this National Heart Lung & Blood Institute website.

You should also test your body-fat percentage. For males under 40, it should be between 8-19%. If you are above 40, then it will be in the range of 11-22%.

For females under 40, it is between 21 to 33%. If you are above 40, then it will be 23-35%.

If you are below these ranges, then you are under-fat, and if above the range, you are overweight.

Using both the BMI and Body-Fat data will give you a better indication of your health state.

Signs You are Fit and Healthy

If you do the above checklist and watch out for those tell-tale signs, it will be a step closer to be fit and healthy.

Staying healthy is about taking care of your body, eating all the healthy foods, and leading a healthy lifestyle.

If you don't know how then read this book on Ayurvedic Home Remedies. It is a helpful guide that I refer to every now and then. And it will give you a headstart.

So start your new you, today!

References

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Mazlan A

Comments

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 09, 2019:

Gupi, thank you for dropping by and commenting.

Gupi on June 09, 2019:

Great tips, thanks for sharing

Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on March 03, 2018:

Super hub Mazlan, took some notes on this one. So interesting what your body can tell you.

GeorgeCasey on February 21, 2018:

I always check my urine color first thing in the morning and it is a good indicator of our health status

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 05, 2017:

Hi, GalaxyRat, thanks. By the way, I like what you wrote on your profile page!

GalaxyRat on June 05, 2017:

Thanks! Bookmarked for future reference!

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on April 27, 2017:

Anita, thanks for dropping by and commenting. Waking up in the morning without the alarm clock is a good sign of whether you had a good night sleep and if you are in good health. I use this as my own 'health thermometer'!

Anita Hasch from Port Elizabeth on April 07, 2017:

Thanks for sharing. This was a very interesting and informative hub.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 28, 2016:

Hi, Jo Lim. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

Jo Lim on June 26, 2016:

Interesting and useful article. Thanks for sharing.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on August 03, 2015:

Thanks for the vote and the visit kiwinana.

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on July 23, 2015:

This is one of the best articles I have read for checking your health, giving clear signs if something is going wrong with your body.

Voted up, thanks for sharing.

quinton on March 26, 2015:

Wow I am alwasys health conscious and sometimes even paranoid about it but because of this site I went from thinking im really unhealthy to proud of how good shape I am in id recommend this site to my friends ro have a quick eval or check up thanks random site!

emmie51 on March 14, 2015:

Rest, water, eatting healthy, and staying fit is the best anyone can do. I agree with this article, it is best to know beforehand you have an illness especially when is something so treatable from the beginning.:-)

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on November 16, 2014:

Hi ubrish. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Yes, you are right. Color of our nails and eyes will show our health condition.

ubrish ali from Pakistan(Asia) on November 10, 2014:

Color of our nails and eyes tells the story of our health

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on March 24, 2012:

roxanne459, thanks for dropping by and thanks for your comment.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on March 24, 2012:

Hi amberld. You are right, we have to be careful of our health as we get older. So looking at all these signs are important. Thanks for dropping by.

Amber White from New Glarus, WI on March 24, 2012:

thank you for the great information! I will pay a little more attention to this stuff now that I am over 40. voted up!

Roxanne Lewis from Washington on March 24, 2012:

So interesting! Thank you! ;)

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on March 12, 2012:

Hi rosieannemayers, thanks for dropping by. It's good that you are monitoring your health by checking your urine color on a regular basis. I monitor both my urine and bowel movement daily, just to make sure my body is doing OK.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on March 12, 2012:

aslaught, having high cholesterol can lead to serious problems later. Try drinking vinegar (apple cider vinegar or dates or pomegranate vinegar (you can check my hubs on these)first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Doing exercise is also important,to bring down the cholesterol level.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on March 12, 2012:

Hi Natashalh, thanks for the compliment and your votes.

rosieannemayers on March 12, 2012:

I love this. I liked that it contained a lot of useful information. A friend of mine (who also happened to be a doctor) actually taught me to check my urine color regularly to make sure my UTI doesn't come back. She said that it should be light yellow or colorless. If it's dark yellow, red or brown, that means I'll need to visit my GP.

aslaught from Alabama on March 11, 2012:

Interesting. I have the lumps on my eyelids and I have been diagnosed with high chloestrol, so that is absolutely right on. I even asked my dermatologist about the lumps and he confirmed that.

Natasha from Hawaii on March 11, 2012:

What a great collection of easy to read, yet useful information! Voted up and useful.

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