Monday, January 18, 2010

Be Aware of Your Body Mass Index, or BMI

Nobody wants to get sick. Being sick robs us of our time to enjoy life. We get shocked by news of some relatively young celebrities passing on due to some life threatening ailments, or cardiac arrest even.

A healthy weight, diet, and lifestyle can help reduce the risk of cancer, various sicknesses, or diseases for that matter. It's easy to say, "I'm healthy as a horse.", but how exactly do we achieve health well being?

Healthy Weight

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a reliable indicator of total body fat. It helps you find out if you are underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

To find out what your current BMI is, you can proceed to the online Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator (via NHLBI site). At that site, you just enter your height and weight, click the "Compute BMI" button, and then it will show you your BMI score.

BMI Categories:
  • Underweight: less than 18.5
  • Normal weight: 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight: 25 to 29.9
  • Obesity: 30 or greater
Another good online BMI calculator is from the Baylor Colllege of Medicine site. You enter your sex, height, weight, age, and how active you are. This calculator computes your BMI, and also suggests your daily energy needs (in calories).

You should invest on a nice quality bathroom scale, so that your weight measurements are more or less accurate.

Healthy Diet

It's a good idea to aim for a balanced diet. We can refer to the Food Pyramid to see the different food groups: Carbohydrates, Vegetable, Fruit, Oil, Dairy, Meat / Poultry / Fish / Dry Beans / Eggs / Nuts.

food pyramid
Food Pyramid

The site suggests these:
  • 5 or more cups of fruits and vegetables per day
  • food from other plant sources, such as whole-grain breads and cereals, nuts, seeds, rice, pasta, and beans
A low-fat diet is also said to be an excellent idea, especially if you wish to lose a few pounds. Besides, a low-fat diet can also reduce your risk of heart disease.

Healthy Lifestyle

Exercise and fitness play a vital role in our well-being. Physical activity, such as walking, jogging, running, dancing, cycling, and sports activities will make you feel and look good. Having an active lifestyle helps in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Learn a new sport, become a member at a nearby gym, or take scheduled walks around your area. I recommend getting a nice treadmill, so that you can continue your exercise routine even if it is too cold (or hot) outside. (Another good activity is shopping! Lol)


We don't need to do drastic things to be healthy. Watch your BMI, eat more of the "good" food, and be more active. If you are fond of desserts and sweets, all you have to do increase your activity, so that you can burn those extra calories off. :)
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