Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What Is Body Mass Index

What is body mass index, BMI, weight control, healthy weight, how to calculate BMI
What is Body Mass Index or BMI?  It is a measure of the amount of body fat in one's body.  It is based on a person's weight in kg over the square of his or her height in meter.  The formula on how to calculate our BMI is as follows:

Body Mass Index (BMI) =Weight (KG)
(Height (Meter))2

There are 8 categories of BMI according to their respective kg per m2.

CategoryBMI Range - kg/ m2
Very severely underweight< 15
Severely underweight15 - 16
Underweight16 - 18.5
Normal (Healthy weight)18.5 - 25
Slightly overweight25 - 30
Overweight30 - 35
Severely overweight35 - 40
Obese (very severely overweight)> 40

So what is the significance of these BMI readings to us?  People who has BMI readings of 25 kg/ m2 and above may have health risks of developing high blood pressure due to the high amount of bad cholesterol accumulated within the body.  They may also have a higher chance of having a heart attack, stroke, diabetes and high uric acid as well.  The higher the BMI reading, the more risk of getting these bunches of life threatening conditions in your body.  On the other extreme, people with BMI readings lower than 18.5 kg/ m2 may suffer from osteoporosis and nutritional deficiency.  The idea is to get your BMI within the healthy weight range of 18.5 - 25 kg/ m2 and you will be fine.

BMI is only an indicator designed to help us monitor our weight at a healthy level.  It may not be 100 % accurate as some people may have more muscle mass such as some sports athletes especially the bodybuilders that makes them more heavy and have a higher BMI reading.  This does not means that they have high body fat and are unhealthy.  Their higher BMI is mainly due to the fact that they have more muscles which contribute to their higher in weight.

Normal people like you and me with BMI readings outside the normal weight categories should really consider a diet change and some physical activities incorporated into our daily regime if our existing one is a sedentary one.  Weight control is our priority. Eating healthily is the key to getting back a healthy body weight.  Try losing all those high fat and processed food such as burgers, French fries, pizzas, pork ribs, grilled cheese wedges etc.  Eat instead more fresh fruits and vegetables like orange, apple, kiwi, watermelon, grapes, strawberry, spinach, carrots, pineapple and so on.  Nuts and wholemeals confectionery are also great as they offers lots of fibers and omega 3 to help us fight off the ever feared LDL bad cholesterol in our body. Try salmons instead of pork chops.  Or lemonades instead of root beer float for instance.  All these can be crucial in our quest of gaining a healthy body weight. 

On the other end of the equation is to do exercise and I mean lots of them. In fact for your body to be able to function well and burn off the excess fats that makes you unhealthy and disease prone.  A 30 minutes of walk or on a stationary bike, 3 times a week is good enough to get you started towards a healthy lifestyle.  Other physical activities that you can do are mountain biking, swimming, hiking, yoga, Pilate, tennis, squash, badminton, rowing and many more.  These physical activities are fun to do and indeed are very good to your health.  Don't treat exercise as a boring and hard to bear thing.  They are there not only to add some spices into your life but also to keep you healthy and let you have a healthy BMI!


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