Monday, October 14, 2013

Feeling Fit? Skip the BMI and go with the Waist Height Ratio

BMI never worked for me.

When I was weightlifting, I had a BMI well into the Overweight Zone.   " But it was all Muscle " as I told the doctor, he agreed, we were happy.

I had a resting heart rate of 42 then where normal is nearer to 72-80, skated up to 100 miles a week, spent a minimum of 5 hours in the gym per week.

I laughed at "Overweight".

Since then, my weight has dropped by about 20 pounds.   I don't feel that I am fitter than I was when I was training for skating, but my weight is down.  There goes all that time on the "Pec Deck"!

Recently I calculated my BMI and it had me right inside the Healthy band.

I laughed at BMI and realized it's pointless.

It doesn't take into account, at least accurately, one's muscle mass, or their bone mass, or physical "structure, and your general fitness level.

Recently there has been a trend in fitness to recalculate that BMI, or at least push the "healthy" range higher as a result.

There seems to be a realization that the BMI is rubbish and there's yet another measurement called the Waist to Height Ratio.

You don't have to worry about this one, it's simpler.

You know your height, generally.
You know your waist size, or at least you should.

If not, get the tape measure out.

For someone who is 6 feet tall, or 72 inches, they should have less than a 36 inch waist.

The golden number is a ratio of 1/2.   Your waist should be no more than 1/2 of your height.

*whew*, I made it.

Especially after this weekend of Rum Raisin Ice Cream, and a trip to the Chinese Buffet!

This calculation works if you're metric as well.  180 CM tall means no more than a 90 CM waist.

Don't mix your Metric and your Imperial measurements, and you'll be fine.

Remember, walk an extra block and you'll have a better time of it.   Get off the subway a stop earlier and walk to the office.  Park a little further out on the Mall parking lot under the shady tree.  Go with the "medium" instead of "large" at the food court.  "One To Grow On" is all it takes to get that ratio over the magic .50

If your ratio is over that 1/2 or .50, don't fret, you can get yourself in shape.  Take the long view since it won't happen today but you can start.  After all, it took you this many years to get where you are, it will take time to get yourself in a more healthy place.

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