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By Lauren Pastrana

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With flu fears running rampant, it’s more important than ever to be on top of your health.

You’ll need to go to a doctor’s office or hospital for a flu test, but there are some tests you can do at home that could point to a variety of different ailments.

Today’s “Lauren’s List” explains a few home health tests that could save your life.

Sing and Climb
Climb the stairs while singing or talking. If you get so winded you can’t talk or sing, or feel a tightening in your chest, call your doctor. Experts say the benefits of the test are two-fold. It indicates both heart and lung function and could point to problems like asthma, bronchitis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Sit To Rise
First, stand up straight then lower yourself to sitting all the way down in a cross-legged position without using your hands. Then get back up, also without using your hands. If you can do that, researchers in Brazil believe you will live longer. Participants who can perform the test live longer than those who don’t. The study suggests flexibility and muscle strength influence life expectancy.

Draw A Clock
Sounds simple enough. Grab a piece of paper and draw a clock with the time showing 11:10. Then, have someone else check it. If there are errors like missing numbers or the time is wrong, you might want to call a doctor. Some neurologists say this test measures aspects of visuospatial and executive skills, so people with cognitive impairments will have trouble with it.

Poke Your Toes
Foot numbness is often a silent sign of diabetes. It’s a condition called diabetic neuropathy, but that same sort of nerve damage can occur with autoimmune diseases, too. If you’re concerned about that, grab a pencil and a partner and have them poke the bottoms of your feet. Can you feel it? Can you tell if they’re using the point or the eraser? If the answer is no, call a doctor!

Remember, these test can’t replace your actual health care provider, so be sure to get checked out if you have concerns.

Have you ever diagnosed yourself only to have the doctor or nurse practitioner confirm what you thought?

Tell me on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have an idea for a future “Lauren’s List”, send it to lpastrana@cbs.com.

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