Take a minute to think about your weight, health, and lifestyle. Are you as fit and healthy as you would like to be? Do you think you might be carrying a little too much weight or body fat?
You can get on track with regular physical activity and healthy eating habits. By making small changes to your lifestyle, you may become leaner and energetic.
Keep reading for tips on how to get on track with healthy habits—chances are, you will find that it is not as hard as you thought.
What is a healthy weight?
Body mass index (BMI) is a tool that is often used to determine if a person is a healthy weight, overweight, or obese, and whether a person’s health is at risk due to his or her weight. BMI is a ratio of your weight to your height. You can refer to the chart below to find your BMI and see what a healthy weight range is for your height.
A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy. A person with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, and a person with a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.
Another way to determine if your health is at risk because of your weight is to measure your waist. Waist measurement does not tell if you are overweight, but it does show if you have excess fat in your stomach. You should know that extra fat around your waist may raise your health risks even more than fat elsewhere on your body. Also, men are more likely than women to carry their extra weight around their stomach.
Men whose waists measure more than 40 inches may be at an increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and other problems.
A downside of using BMI is that it does not take into account whether body weight is due to muscle or fat. Therefore, someone who is very muscular may be thought to have excess fat, even if he has low or normal body fat. For the vast majority of Americans, though, BMI is a good way to tell if you have increased health risks due to your weight.
Why do weight and lifestyle matter?
Being overweight, obese, or physically inactive may increase your risk for:
- coronary heart disease
- type 2 diabetes
- high blood pressure
- some types of cancer, including colorectal and kidney cancer
On the other hand, being active, eating healthier, and achieving and staying at a healthy weight may help:
- Improve mood and energy levels.
- Increase fitness and strength.
- Improve muscles.