Your body mass index, or as it is known in short BMI is a representation of your health based on your height and weight. Health professionals around the world use your BMI to determine whether someone is overweight or clinically obese. It is used as a simple method of working out whether someone’s weight is putting their health at risk. So just how do you calculate your BMI and how do you know what is considered ‘normal?’
You can find out what your BMI is by entering your weight and height into a BMI calculator, of which there are numerous on the Internet. Alternatively, if you don’t have access to the Internet you can simply visit your GP or local health centre where you’re body mass index can be calculated for you. So if you weigh 137 pounds and your height is 5”6 your BMI will be 22.1, which is within the normal range, meaning your body mass is healthy. A healthy body mass index should fall between 18.5 and 24.9; if yours is over 24.9 then you are considered to be overweight and a person whose body mass is under 18.5 is considered underweight.
Your body mass index is important to aspects of your health. For example if you are considered to be overweight then you are at a greater risk of developing serious illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, having a stroke and developing certain cancers.
It is however important to keep in mind that the results of your BMI is only one representation of your measure of health. There are many other factors that play an important role in your health and having a healthy BMI doesn’t mean your body is in perfect health. Sometimes it can underestimate body fat in older people and those who have lost muscle fat. In other cases it can sometimes overestimate body fat in athletes and those who have a muscular build. In most cases however you should take it as a good estimate of your weight, so what do you do if you fall into the under or overweight categories? It is important that if you are currently in these categories that you try and get your body mass index into what is classed as ‘normal.’
Losing or gaining weight should be done in a healthy manner. You should start by manipulating the BMI calculator in order to find out how much weight you need to lose or gain. You need to work out where you are currently with your health and where you want to be. Once you are at this stage you can let in some outside help to change your diet, fitness regime and overall health.
You need a good weight management program that creates a diet plan to suit your taste, an exercise plan that targets your trouble areas and a lifestyle plan that will help you with your weight problem. For example you may be advised that the best diet for you is the low GI diet, which helps you achieve faster weight loss and reduces the chance of re-gaining the weight; it does this by decreasing your body fat not muscle or water mass, it increases satiety and reduces hunger pangs.
As well as being advised on the correct diet you will be advised on the right exercise plan. Some great examples of this are high-paced walking, moderate swimming and cycling.
There is plenty of help available when it comes to reducing your body mass index through the right diet and exercise; all you have to do is make sure that you choose the right plan for your situation. So don’t go it alone, take advantage of the help that is available to you and get a healthy BMI now!