Guest Author - Terri Johansen
BMI (Body Mass Index) is a calculation that is used to measure body fat based on height and weight. Studies show that people who do at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day are more than twice as likely to maintain a stable BMI as they age. Research shows that as we age we are likely to gain weight and the mortality risk is higher in overweight individuals. Thus by the age of 50 your mortality rate may be as much as twenty to forty percent higher than it should be.
Ideally your BMI ranges between 20-24, which puts you in the normal range; a BMI of 25-29 is considered overweight; and over 29 is obese. It is easier using a BMI calculate than trying to work the formulas yourself. I have provided a link below. So for example:
•Joe is 6 ft. and weighs 200 lbs. = 27.10 BMI
Joe is in the overweight category.
•Sally is 5 ft. and weights 112 lbs. = 21.9 BMI
Sally is in the normal category.
Body Mass Index is considered an accurate way to determine your body fat. You should be concerned if your BMI is in the overweight or obese categories as these both can contribute to the following diseases and more: Coronary Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Stroke, Type 2 Diabetes, Cancer, and Osteoarthritis.
BMI, Heart Rate, and Exercise,
•Weight is an important measurement for overall fitness. This is where BMI and exercise come into play. Exercise can be an important piece of weight loss, as well as improving the heart’s efficiency.
•One consideration in which BMI may lead to false fitness readings is if you are exceptionally muscular. Muscle ways more than fat which would make your body weight higher.
•Walking or jogging are great ways to improve your BMI. A brisk thirty minute walk five days a week. Physical activity will burn calories and increase your metabolism. For example, let’s say your burn 200 calories per walk. That would be a total of 1000 calories burned and comparable to .40 pounds of body fat.
•Weight training is also an efficient way to lower your BMI. Weight training makes muscles stronger and muscles burn more calories than fat. A solid resistance training program of two to three days per week will be all you need. In order to make your workouts even more productive try using compound exercises, where you are exercising more than one muscle per exercise.
BMI is only one source for measuring body fat. There are other ways, some much more technical and require a fitness evaluator. But BMI is an excellent way for you to monitor your fitness because it is easy to use the online calculators and BMI tables. Below are links to both a BMI online calculator and a Body Mass Index Table.
Always check with a medical professional to make sure you are healthy enough to begin an exercise program. Be healthy, be happy!
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