ARTICLES, TIPS, TRAINING & GENERAL ADVICE
- » Non-Exercise Activities
- » Boost Your Metabolic Rate
- » Training with Heart Rate Zones
- » Determining Max Heart Rate
- » Dynamic Warm Up
- » Burned by Calories Burned?
- » Tracking Your Workouts
- » Stretching Recommendations
- » Understanding Body Mass Index (BMI)
- » General Fitness (9)
- » Nutrition and Wellbeing (3)
- » Injury Prevention & Recovery (4)
- » Sports Specific (16)
Please be safe, consult with your
physician before beginning any
new fitness plan.
If you’ve been paying attention to your health and fitness or wondering if you are a healthy weight, you’ve probably heard of BMI, or the Body Mass Index. Maybe you’ve even had a health care professional measure your BMI. But what does it all mean? And maybe more importantly, what is your BMI, and what does it tell you about your health?
Weight, BMI, and Body Fat
The Body Mass Index was a system established in 1988 by the National Institute of Health. It is widely accepted as a relatively accurate estimate of an individuals body fat, and related health risks. It was designed as a more accurate replacement for standard height weight tables or simply using weight alone as a measurement of body weight related health risks. Contrary to popular opinion, although it is closely related to body fat, it is not the same as measuring body fat.
BMI is calculated by creating a ratio of your weight to your height. By considering height along with weight, the formula allows the system to differentiate between the normal weight of someone who is taller or shorter. This makes intuitive since when we consider that 180lbs is a very different weight for someone who is 5′4″ tall compared to someone who is 6′2″ tall.
The following calculator can be used to calculate your BMI. If you’re a member of the Sweat365 community, we will preload the calculator with your last known height and weight. If your height and weight changes, we will record your new values for you so you can track your progress as you work toward your fitness goals.
Understanding Your Results
Once you’ve used the calculator, how do you use the information? Well, let’s start by looking at a table of the ranges of BMI results.
|18.5 or less||Underweight||An Underweight BMI can indicate that your weight may be too low. It would be good for you to consult with your health care professional to determine if you should gain weight. Having a low body mass can impact your immune system leading to illness, bone loss, malnutrition and other conditions. These risks increase the lower your BMI is.|
|18.5 to 25||Normal Weight||According to the NIH, people with a BMI in this range have the ideal amount of body weight to their height. Studies indicate that maintaining a normal weight is associated with longer healthier lives. However, BMI is not the most accurate measure of body fat and general health, so it is still a good idea to have regular checkups and maintain a balanced nutritional diet and an active lifestyle.|
|25 to 30||Overweight||People in this BMI range are considered overweight according to the NIH. If you fall into this range then you would benefit from finding healthy ways to lower your weight. Regular exercise and a balanced nutritional diet are the best ways to achieve this goal. Studies have shown that a BMI in this range increases your health risk for numerous conditions. As your BMI increases so do your risks of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses.|
|30 to 35||Obesity (Class 1)||The NIH considers a BMI of 30 to 35 to be a physically unhealthy condition, which significantly increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, gall bladder disease, and some cancers. This is particularly true if you have a larger then recommended waist size. People who fall into this range should see their health care professional, and ideally develop a plan to modify their lifestyle. Reducing their weight by as little as 5-10% would result in considerable health benefits.|
|35 to 39||Obesity (Class 2)||People with a BMI of 35-40 have severe risk of weight-related health problems and even death. It is strongly recommended that you consult your health care professional and reduce your weight to a lower BMI.|
|40 or greater||Morbid Obesity
|People with a BMI of over 40 have an extremely high risk of weight-related disease and premature death. If your BMI is over 40, you may already be suffering from weight-related conditions. It is strongly recommended that you consult your health care professional and get specialized care for your condition.|