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People nowadays are increasingly becoming aware of what is right for their body and what fitness levels should be maintained to lead a long and healthy life. There is a lot of information on how to get a fit and healthy body, what should be eaten and what exercises should be performed. But how do we know that after following all of that we have achieved the desired results or not? How do we measure how fit we are? Well, the answer is Body Mass Index (BMI).
What is BMI?
Body Mass Index or BMI is calculated by taking a person’s height and weight into account. It is an indicator of your fitness level by putting you into categories: underweight, normal weight, overweight and obesity. Body mass index helps to estimate the risk of underweight and obesity of the examined person. The phenomenon of obesity and underweight may be associated with the development of diseases classified as civilization diseases, such as diabetes, stroke, atherosclerosis, hypertension and nutrition disorders. Higher the BMI, higher the risk of disease. A BMI of 25.0 or more is overweight, while the healthy range is 18.5 to 24.9. BMI applies to most adults 18-65 years.
Who all should use BMI?
This tool is a health indicator best suited for adults. BMI is not that accurate when being calculated for children or athletes with a lot of muscle mass. A study published in American Journal of Biomedical Science & Research states that, the downside of BMI is that it is impossible to distinguish muscle tissue from adipose tissue, which in athletes, especially in people practicing strength sports, can be misleading and misinterpreted.
How to calculate BMI?
1. To calculate the BMI, otherwise known as the Quetelet II index from the Belgian founder Adolphe Quetelet (in the 19th century), you need to calculate the body mass quotient.
2. You need to measure your weight expressed in kilograms (kg). You can use a measuring scale for this.
3. You also need to measure your height in meters squared (m²). Stand up straight against a wall and take someone’s help to measure your height with a measuring tape.
4. Once you have the required measurements you need to divide the weight in kgs by your height in square meters. The formula being BMI=Weight (Kg)/Height (m²).
5. The resulting quotient is your BMI.