You may have heard of the ‘BMI’. BMI stands for ‘Body Mass Index’ and it’s a simple calculation used to work out whether you are overweight, underweight or a healthy weight.
For most people, the BMI calculation is a great way of assessing current physical health. The higher your score, the more you are at risk of acquiring a host of medical conditions such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes, high blood pressure and breathing conditions.
The BMI calculation is great for people losing weight because it is so simple and you can target a healthy BMI figure and then regularly measure your progress towards this target.
There are hundreds of BMI calculators online that make this calculation really simple - check this one out from the Heart Foundation: http://www.heartfoundation.org.nz/healthy-living/losing-weight/bmi-calculator
It should be noted that the BMI does have its limitations. Most obviously, the BMI estimates how much fat there is on your body based on population averages, but, some people's physiques are not 'normal'. For example, some professional athletes have a much higher muscle mass than the average person. According to the BMI classifications, Sonny Bill Williams is Obese (Class 1). However, it’s clear that SBW is in great shape!
Despite this, you should not dismiss the BMI as nonsense (as many people do) because it is a fantastically easy tool for most people to measure their health. But please don’t think that your BMI is the ‘one and only’ measure of health and fitness because it most certainly isn’t! It is possible to have a high BMI and be very fit and healthy and it is also possible to have a low BMI and be exceptionally unfit!