understanding your BMI

When it comes to health and fitness, people in modern society are more switched on than ever. Whether it is knowing how important dental hygiene is to get a great smile or how key healthy eating is, we all have more information than ever to work from.

With this in mind, there are many ways that people measure health and fitness now. From using wearable fitness gear to check post-exercise heart rate to calculating your percentage of body fat, there are some common ways that you might have heard about previously. One other popular way to do this is looking at your BMI.

But what exactly is it, and what does it do?

BMI for beginners

BMI stands for “Body Mass Index”. In simple terms, it takes your height and weight and then calculates how close you are to your ideal weight from that. Results are usually given in a range, as different builds and heights make this a better way to go about it. The easiest way to find out your BMI score is with a BMI checker. These online tools allow you to input your height and weight and then return your BMI score.

But what are the specific scores, and what do they mean for you?

Below 20  

If you calculate your BMI and it is under 20, then this means that you are underweight. Many people immediately assume this to be a good thing, but it actually is not in some cases. Being underweight for your height and weight means that you could be risking your health by not taking in enough calories. If your BMI comes back in this range, you should see a GP to see how you could sensibly increase your calorie intake.

Between 20 and 24.9  

If you test your BMI and come back with a number in this range, then it is all good. This is classed as “Healthy Weight” and means that you are just right for your height and weight. There is no action to take if your BMI comes back in this range. Just be careful that you do eat healthily though as BMI only measures your weight against your height rather than if your diet is sensible.

25 to 29.9 

Any results in this range indicate that you are “Overweight”. Naturally, this is not ideal and you should start to look at ways to resolve this. People will usually start by looking at their lifestyle and making changes there, such as signing up for a sensible diet plan and exercising.

30 to 39.9  

This range is classed as “Obese” and is the signal to take urgent action. Obesity not only impacts on your daily life and self-esteem but can also lead to other serious conditions such as diabetes. If your weight is far above what it should ideally be for your height, then you need to seek help through your GP or a reputable diet plan.

40 and over

Classed as “Very Obese”, this means that your weight is far higher than it should be for your height. Being classed as “Very Obese” leaves you in real danger of health risks and contracting certain medical conditions. As such, you need to seek help as a matter of urgency to shed some weight sensibly.

Keep an eye on your BMI  

A good tip here is to keep a regular eye on your BMI score. Just because you are classed as “Obese” or “Underweight” now does not mean that this will always be the case. Once you have sought out help and taken any necessary action, checking your BMI again is a great way to see if it has worked. It will also be able to tell you about your overall health and whether the weight you are is right for your body. Being too heavy can put stress on your bones, impact on your lifestyle, and lead to medical conditions in the long term. Being underweight can also present health problems in the long term and leave you too weak or fatigued for daily life. Keeping an eye on your BMI gives a simple way to make sure that this is not happening to you and to do something about it if it is.

Your weight is a key measure of health

We all know that your weight is key to your health and also gives a visual indication of how in shape you are. Checking your BMI is a very simple way to make sure that how much you weigh is in proportion to how tall you are. There are some great online BMI checkers around now, so it really is fast and straightforward to do this for yourself.