14 Aug Achieving a Healthier Body Mass Index
You’ve probably heard of the term, “body mass index”, but what does that actually mean? Patients that want to know what their body mass index—or BMI—is, divide their weight in kilograms by the square of their height. For those who aren’t math majors, you basically take your weight and height and perform a calculation that will give you a number. That number will determine if you are in a “healthy” weight range. However, BMI is more than just that number. Find out how to calculate your BMI, what it means for your health and how you can get a better BMI number!
What Is Your Body Mass Index?
The body mass index is essentially a scaling system that measures how tall you are with the weight you are. The National Institutes of Health states that your body mass index is an estimate of your body fat based on simple calculations. The number you get after your calculation is your personal BMI, which can tell you if you are in a normal, healthy weight range. If you are well outside of the “normal” range, that means you are at risk for developing chronic conditions or diseases. If you are high on the scale, you are at risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, breathing problems and more.
The body mass index runs on the metric system, so you use your weight in kilograms instead of pounds. You take your weight in kilograms and divide it by the square of your height and meters. This already sounds difficult to do if you don’t run on the metric system. Luckily, there are many calculators online that can tell you in an instant if your body mass index is healthy or not. Try the one at this link.
The only downside to the BMI calculator is that it does not take any other factors into account besides a person’s height and weight. You might be perfectly healthy based on your health and genetics, even if the body mass index calculator says otherwise. However, you should always check with a medical professional if you have questions. The ranges for BMIs are:
- Underweight: Under 18.5
- Normal Weight: Between 18.5 and 24.9
- Overweight: Between 25 and 29.9
- Obesity: BMI of 30 or higher
If you found that you were outside of the normal BMI range, it is wise to start changing your habits, especially with food. If you’re not eating enough, work with a professional to make sure you put on weight in a healthy weight (like lean muscle). If you are in the overweight or obese ranges, food habits also need to change as well. In modern day, portions have grown out of control and many foods are sugar-packed. This leads to a slow rise in obesity over time.
A healthy body can only be achieve through getting all the essential nutrients: fat, carbohydrates, protein, water, vitamins and minerals. To do that:
- Drink at least half your bodyweight in ounces of water. Cut out other drinks besides milk and water (like soda and alcohol) or your health could suffer.
- Avoid processed or on-the-go foods. These are nutrient-poor and packed with fat and sugar.
- Aim for 3-5 servings of both fruit and vegetables every day.
- Eat a higher-protein diet. For sedentary men and women, they need about 56 and 46 grams of protein daily. Active men and women should aim for 10-20 more grams of protein if they exercise and a lot more if they do marathons or highly-active sports.
- Work with a nutritionist, weight-loss consultant or chiropractic/physical therapy centers, where they can create custom meal plans for you. Working with a professional can help you lose weight quicker while getting all the nutrition you need.
Improving Physical Activity
Many people don’t like it, but if you want to be at a healthier body mass index, you have to get up and get moving. There aren’t quick ways around exercise. It takes time and dedication to be healthy, but as you get healthier, you also get stronger. The American Heart Association recommends that every person get around 150 minutes of physical activity every week. That may seem like a lot, but it’s really just 30 minutes of exercise broken up into 5 segments during the week. If you think about it, you have 10,080 minutes every week to work with. Using just 150 of those doesn’t seem too bad, right?
When you incorporate healthy exercise into your routine, you can get your body mass index into a healthy range if you were in an unhealthy one before. Exercise also does wonders for the body in reducing a person’s risk for chronic conditions and diseases. No matter what diseases run in your family, you can still lower your risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and more through simply giving your body enough exercise. Your digestive tract will work better, your metabolism will speed up (meaning you lose weight better), and you will have more energy every day.
Being Healthier the Right Way
Crash diets and extreme exercise are not on the path to getting a better body mass index. These can both hurt your body, cause you injuries and sickness due to nutrient deficiencies. If you don’t know how to eat right, try a nutritional assessment in-office. Sometimes food react wrong with a person’s body and they don’t realize that they are intolerant or allergic to certain foods. This is where food intolerance testing helps as you are on your journey to a better you.
If you’re injured, it doesn’t mean you can’t get healthier. Physical and chiropractic rehabilitation centers (like ours) specifically work with people who are injured or trying to overcome chronic ailments. We can help you with plans to strengthen your body and to eat better. If you want to lower your body mass index into a healthy range, call Mile High Spine & Pain Center today at (720) 507-0080!