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WHAT IS A HEALTHY BMI?

WHAT IS A HEALTHY BMI?

Is there a right weight for your height and age? Should you even care, so long as your clothes fit? We prefer to sit in the camp that says so long as you feel happy and healthy, don't worry about it. But for those of you who want to get scientific, read on...

Body mass index (BMI) has been used to assess body fat for over a century. It gives a quick measurement of whether we are in the right weight range. It needs no tools apart from a tape measure and some scales.

HOW IS BMI CALCULATED?

Divide weight in kilograms by the square of height in metres (or you could just search online for a BMI calculator).

WHAT IS THE APPROVED BMI RANGE?

The big ‘plus’ about using BMI as a health measure is that it does not give an exact figure, recognising that we are all built differently. The normal weight range is between 18.5 and 24.9, so if your calculation is in that range, BMI deems you healthy.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF TOO-HIGH BMI?

With one-third of the population now classed as obese, the risks are really catching up on us. These include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, joint problems and even increased cancer risk.

WHAT DOES BMI NOT RECOGNISE?

The BMI calculation isn't perfect. Shorter people can be shown as thinner than they actually are, for example. BMI can also be inaccurate for older people, where there is some evidence that the lower end of the range is too low to protect bones.

BMI also takes no account of body fat percentage. With strong evidence that excess stomach fat is a health risk, BMI will present only part of the picture as it does not register fat location. While it isn’t possible to ‘spot reduce’ fat, we now know that a rotund middle is a serious reason to take action.

BMI is not a perfect measure of health. But it does give a good starting point...and might flag up that you need to get your Hussle on!

To help you with your fitness goals checkout our flexible gym memberhip options designed to fit fitness around you to make life work out.

Photo by Billie on Unsplash

the author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.

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