Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday Words

Today's Wednesday Word is more of a concept: BMI!

To piggy-back on the exercise video... I was thinking more about exercise and healthy weight. Someone made a comment to me that "according to my BMI, I am over weight." And I looked at them, and was shocked they thought that! They looked good and strong, but not with excess fat. So, I thought commenting on BMI and some exercising may be good to put in here...

BMI, or
Body Mass Index, is a generalized formula to figure out the ratio of your weight to your height. More weight typically is interpreted as "more fat." And for some people, that's true. But what about muscle? Muscle is heavy, too! The common example people give for this is Arnold Schwarzenegger (especially when he was a professional body builder.) At one point, while standing at 6'2" and 250 pounds, the BMI chart would have labeled him a resounding "obese" at 32.1 kg/m2. But, since he was probably mostly some good rock-hard muscle, though the chart may have defined him as overweight, he surely was not "over fat." And there is a difference.

The point? Just like the numbers on a scale shouldn't define you, neither should the number on a BMI chart. This BMI concept is not 100% indicitive of your health. Use it to get an idea, and be honest with yourself regarding your health.

BMI is simply one more screening tool to gauge your health, but it is not definitive. Yes, it can give you an idea, but if you are highly focused on strength training (and you should be incorporating at least some strength training!) as you gain muscle, you may not see that scale budge since you might be putting on muscle weight while losing fat weight. What you want to look out for is putting on excess fat weight. If you really feel the need to know numbers, the best bets are waist to hip ratio, or to find your percenft body fat (but that's not always to get the equipment for.) Or don't stress about numbers, and just take the steps towards healthier, natural living! Make sure you are trying to balance healthy nutrition, cardio, strength training, flexibility and stretching, a healthy attidude and stress management skills! These are all important components for a healthy lifestyle.

Breathe deep, you're halfway through the week!


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