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Here are 3 ways to test your health at home

How to gauge your health? By taking your blood pressure, measuring your waist and testing your sense of smell!
by Eun Kyung Kim / / Source: TODAY

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If you're curious about your health, there are a few simple tests you can do at home. They're not a substitute for a physical with a doctor, but they can help you get a baseline of your overall health and wellness.

Two of the tests don’t require any special equipment — just some common items found around the house. TODAY's Dylan Dreyer, Craig Melvin and Carson Daly helped demonstrate each of the assessments.

1. Blood pressure

Know your numbers!

Until recently, high blood pressure was defined by any measurements with 140 or higher as the top number, and 90 or greater as the bottom. But the American Heart Association updated its guidelines last fall, establishing a new threshold at 130/80.

Oz provided a few tips to help people get an accurate reading:

  • Keep legs uncrossed, feet supported on the floor.
  • Don’t smoke or drink caffeinated beverages before a measurement.
  • Make sure to take a moment to rest before the measurement, and aim to get it taken in a calm setting.

2. Waist-to-height ratio

Body mass index, or BMI, is a popular term used when assessing an individual's health, but Oz said there’s another way to measure overall health. All you need is a standard tape measure.

Tests for your health you can do at home
Craig Melvin gets his belly fat measured by Dr. Oz.TODAY

Take the tape measure and wrap it around the waist, above the hip bone and right around the belly button level. Record the number. It should always be less than half of your height.

“It’s important because it’s a good measure of belly fat — and belly fat causes diabetes, it causes high blood pressure. Number one cause of aging,” Oz said.

3. Cognitive smell test

The accuracy of senses can be early predictors of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson's disease and other illnesses associated with mental decline.

Oz demonstrated a very simple test that anyone at home can do with four items most people have: mouthwash, coffee, cocoa and non-perfumed soap. By being able to identify at least two of those items, Carson was able to pass the test!

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