The term BMI gets bandied around a lot when we talk about our health and fitness. It has gained such tremendous importance, that it has become one of the selection criteria for some occupations. So what exactly is it and how does it affect you? Here are 7 things you should know about your BMI.
1. What Does It Mean?
BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It is a single number that evaluates an individual’s weight status in relation to his or her height. In other words, based on your height, you can determine your target healthy weight based on your BMI.
2. How is It Calculated?
BMI is calculated in three basic steps. First, multiply your weight in pounds by 703. Second, convert your height to inches and square it. Third, divide the number from the first step by the number from the second step. Formula: (weight in pounds x 703)/(height in inches)^2. BMI can also be calculated using metric units, but it requires a slightly different formula. For the metric formula, square your height in meters and divide it into your weight in kilograms. Formula: (weight in kilograms)/(height in meters)^2.
3. Does It Tell You How Much Body Fat You Have?
This is one of the most important things you should know about your BMI. It does NOT tell you how much body fat you have. It is just a quick, easy and inexpensive way to determine whether a person is normal, overweight or obese, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
4. What about Muscle Mass?
This is where the problem comes in. For instance, an obese person may weigh 300 lbs because of body fat, whereas a body builder may have the same weight in muscle mass and may actually have little or no body fat. BMI calculations cannot take this into account.
5. BMI and Children and Pre-adults
BMI can also be used to calculate the Body Mass Index of children and pre-adults. The formula remains the same, but the interpretation is different.
6. Healthy Range of BMI
This is one of the important things you should know about your BMI. If you are under 20 BMI, you are underweight. 20-24.9 is the ideal BMI. 25 to 30 BMI signifies that you are at the risk of becoming obese and getting health problems associated with it. Above 30 qualifies you as obese.
7. What to do when You Have High BMI?
When you have a high BMI and it is not because of muscle mass, it means that you are overweight or obese and have a high risk of acquiring health problems. The one and only solution you have is to lose weight in a healthy manner.
As you can see from the 7 things you should know about your BMI, it is not an infallible figure, but a great way to determine if you are in good shape. If your BMI is high, start exercising. If it is too low, start eating healthily. Have you ever calculated your BMI? What did you think of the result? Please share!
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