Is a low BMI something we should be all striving for? Millions of people every year try to improve themselves and their bodies to lose some excess weight. It’s a common goal, and if done right and as a result of gaining healthier and better habits, it can be a great thing to work towards. However, one thing that many people don’t understand is that being slim does not always mean that you are automatically healthy.
Being overweight can be tied to predispositions to certain health issues. An active and healthy lifestyle comes with an array of benefits and helping to prevent those health issues is only a small part of it. However, weighing what is considered a “healthy” amount or having a good BMI (Body Mass Index) does not mean everything. There’s a lot that is not accounted for, and we will address it in this article.
Weight is not health
The most important, fundamentally pivotal point about your weight is that it does not equate to health. You can be “overweight” and healthy, and you can be “slim” or “skinny” and unhealthy. A lot of people believe that the two concepts are interchangeable, but there are crucial differences between them.
Being underweight or even of a healthy weight can still present many of the same issues that overweight people are typically at risk of. Your health depends dramatically on your diet and on how you live and exercise. If you’re of a regular weight but don’t eat well and live a sedentary lifestyle, you’re no better off. You’re still at risk of heart diseases, lung diseases and general health issues. High cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes risks, they are all there, irrelevant of size.
Now that that’s out of the way, it’s a good time to discuss BMI. Your BMI, or body mass index, is a common way to align someone’s weight and height to what is typically a “healthy” weight. This can be useful, but it can also be misused. If you are short and, for example, you’ve been weight training a few times a week for a year, this will give you a high level of muscle mass and low body fat. And you might find that you will still be told that you are overweight, if not obese. But it just doesn’t work like that.
As we said above, a healthy weight does not mean you’re hitting the same weight of the average healthy person. Recommendations and averages are all well and good, but they differ from person to person. Everyone is unique, and your weight alone is just not enough to determine your health. Muscle weighs more than fat after all.
Body fat percentage
Following on to the next point, if you are going along with the information about being overweight or underweight, it’s essential to know about body fat and how it affects everyone across the board. No matter how much you weigh, you will have a level of body fat that determines your health in relation to weight, or to the best extent it can.
Just because you are slim, it does not mean you don’t have high levels of body fat. The difference is, you just also may have a very low weight of muscle mass. Still just as bad, if not worse than being overweight! BMI is not a reflection of body fat, and you need to be aware of it.
Your weight is important, but it isn’t everything. Don’t follow the crowd and think that you are healthy because you’re slim or incredibly unhealthy because you have a high BMI. Everyone is different and unique. Your fitness is your own, and there are so many factors that contribute towards it, that you can’t rely on just one.
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.