Optimal Health

By: Gwen Liston, Math Period 4, December 2, 2013

Introduction to my Project!

I am doing a project about Optimal Health. This project requires me to research the optimal ranges of cholesterol levels, target heart rates, vitamin consumption, calorie consumption, and optimal BMI (body mass index) I will use inequalities and graphs to describe the ranges. Lastly, I will write a paragraph explaining all of the results and what my graphs mean.

Target Heart Rates!

Above are the target heart rates and average maximum heart rates from 20-70 years old from the American Heart Association. Before you can learn how to calculate and monitor your target heart rate, you have to know your resting heart rate. Your resting heart rate should be between 60-80 beats per minute, but sometimes it is different for more fit people and it also rises with age. A healthy thing to do is to exercise, but to not over do it. Also (as a fact), your average maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. 50% less than or equal to hr which is less than or equal to 85%, this double inequality shows that you want to stay between 50% to 85% for your maximum heart rate. This is your target heart rate.

Cholesterol Levels!

The U.S. and some other countries measure cholesterol levels by milliliters per deciliter of blood. But in Canada and most other European countries they measure cholesterol levels by millimoles per liter of blood. So, in the U.S. and some other countries you want to be below 200 mg/dL for your total cholesterol and in Canada and most of Europe you want to be below 5.2 mmo/L as you see on the chart above. This chart though, is for adults. My double inequality is for the U.S. and shows that 200 mg/dL is less than or equal to 239 mg/dL which is less than 240 mg/dL.

Vitamin Consumption!
Vitamin C!

I picked vitamin C for vitamin consumption. As seen above, men need to have 220 mg of vitamin C every day and woman 190 mg per day! (This chart if for adults). My inequality shows that 190 mg is less than or equal to vc which is less than or equal to 220 mg.

Calorie Consumption!

According to the chart above, if a girl from 9-13 years old is very active she will need 1,800 to 2,200 calories per day. But a 9-13 year old boy needs 2,000-2,600 calories per day if he is active! You can see other ages in the chart above as well. My inequality, for girls ages 9-13, shows that 1,600 is less than 2000 which is less than or equal to 2,200.

Optimal BMI!

The chart above shows what BMI is overweight for an age range and gender and what is underweight. It also includes what your BMI would be above if you were obese. So really, for boys the average BMI, depending on age, is in between the underweight BMI and the overweight BMI. It is also the same for girls. I can use myself as an example: Next month I will be twelve and my BMI is 17.5. When I look at the chart above I see that underweight is or is below 15.2 and overweight is or is above 21.0. So my BMI is about in the middle. My inequality, which is for boys age 12, shows that 15.3 is less than or equal to bmi which is less than or equal to 20.3.


I have learned a lot from this project. Firstly, I learned that different target ranges change with age, gender, and sometimes even personal circumstances. Secondly, when I was researching online I found out that that there are so many techniques for getting to the target you want and what doctors recommend. Thirdly, I found a lot of charts online that you had to do calculations with, so really, this project also included some other math as well. I think this project has given me a lot of new knowledge and it will help me monitor myself when I get older!

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