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What's Your Body Mass Index? What Does It Mean? - By: Donovan Baldwin
One term we hear a lot about recently is "Body Mass Index", or BMI. It seems to be important, but many people are not sure what it is, what it means, or why they should be concerned about it. In this small article, we are going to try to shed a little light on:

1. What is Body Mass Index?

2. How is it calculated?

What does it mean?

Stated simply, your body mass index is a means of measuring your body fat relative to height. The basic reason for this is that weight alone is not a reasonable measure of fat or health. For years, men and women have looked at height/weight tables and been told that if they were of a certain height and weighed a certain weight than they were "overweight" and, by implication, in some sort of potential health crisis. However, the
BMI calculation allows an individual or health care provider a means of making a quick assessment of potential health risks.

Calculating your Body Mass Index is a relatively simple process. You can calculate your BMI yourself, but you are more likely to get a more precise measurement of your health risk if you have it and other measurements done by your doctor or at a facility which has the necessary equipment and professionally trained personnel.

To calculate your BMI based on height and weight, divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared and multiply that answer by 703. If you are using the metric system, the weight will be in kilograms, and the height will be measured in meters. The equation is exactly the same (remember to square your height), but there is no need to multiply by 703.

However, the results still only involve height and weight and do not take other factors into account. For example: A muscular, weightlifting athlete in excellent health, i.e. someone like
Arnold Schwarzenegger, would appear to be overweight.

While calculating a person's BMI is simple and immediately gives a health care professional an idea of the individual's potential health risks relevant to the fat on their body, there are still some other factors which should be assessed as well. The athlete mentioned above might have a very small waist, and indeed, the circumference of the waist should also be taken in addition to the BMI calculation itself. It is also possible to take some fairly specific fat measurements using calipers and other instruments. It is also important to view the BMI in the context of the individual's health history, life style, age, sex, smoking, drinking, and other factors. That is why having these measurements done by trained professionals is important.

For the moment, however, let's just look at our Body Mass Index measurements and see what they mean.

**A BMI of 18.5 is considered as being Underweight.

**A BMI range of 18.5 24.9 is considered normal.

**A BMI range of 25.0 29.9 is defined as overweight.

**A BMI of 30.0 and above is categorized as obese.

While a little too complicated to reproduce in an article which may be published on many different sites, there are charts available online which will allow you to add such measurements as waist circumference to the
Body Mass Index calculation in order to get a slightly more accurate assessment of health risk due to being overweight or obese. A rule of thumb however, is that for men a waist circumference of more than 40 inches raises the health risk. For women, a waist circumference of more than 35 inches also raises the risk.

So, what does a high BMI mean in terms of potential health risks?

While there is no guarantee that obesity or an overweight condition in any one individual will definitely result in specific conditions, it has been statistically shown that there is a correlation between being overweight or obese, and the likelihood of incurring one or more of these conditions as a direct or indirect result:

**High blood pressure,

**High cholesterol**Type II diabetes

**Heart Disease

**Some forms of cancer

The good news is, that should you find yourself defined as overweight or obese, a
weight loss of just 10% of your current weight will have a definite impact on the health risks you face.

The best way to control your weight and minimize health risks due to obesity or being overweight is through regular moderate exercise and by making wise nutritional choices. Additionally, a lifestyle which includes regular exercise and healthy eating choices will produce other positive health changes in addition to the weight loss itself. Fad diets do not work for permanent healthy weight loss, and
diet pills and potions are at best ineffective and can actually be dangerous in some cases. Some diet regimens may actually result in increased weight and a higher BMI in the long run.

In order to improve your health outlook, take a look at your BMI and use it as a reminder of the choices you need to make in order to live a longer and healthier life.
What is your body mass index? How is it calculated and what does it mean?
Donovan Baldwin is a Texas writer. He is a University of West Florida alumnus, a member of Mensa, and is retired from the U. S. Army after 21 years of service. His interests include art, nature, animals, the environment, global warming, health, fitness, yoga, and weight loss. He has posted several of his articles on exercise and weight loss at .
The Magic Ingredient for Body Transformation - By: Machelle Lee
Why are some people fit and toned while others struggle with their weight?

These fit people make it seem so easy to achieve and maintain results-what do they have that you don't? It all boils down to one simple thing.
The only thing standing between you and your perfect body is: motivation.

Yes, motivation is truly the magic ingredient that will transform your body from the one that you have now to the one of your dreams. So what is motivation, anyway?

Motivation is... ...a want, a need and a belief that drives you. ...the push of your mental forces to accomplish an action. ...something that makes you do what you do. ...the desire to accomplish a goal. ...something that pushes and pulls you to do certain things.

It's easy to see how motivation can change a person's
life-and body. If you could bottle and sell motivation you would easily make a fortune. But, alas, motivation is something that must be mustered up out of pure will power.

So where does this leave you? In the past your attempts to get in shape have been short lived. How can you stick with it long enough to see the results that you so desperately want?

I have exciting news for you. Motivation can become as natural and easy to you as breathing. Here's how.

Step one: Find your reason.
Why do you want to get fit?
What is your most important reason for wanting to lose the weight?
Now, don't tell me that you simply want to 'Look better' or 'Be more attractive.'
You need to dig deeper than that. Take a minute to mull this question over until you can put your finger on it.

Hint: these would all be
great answers...
I want to fit into my size 6 pants again
I want to get off my blood pressure medication
I want to drop 20 pounds before the reunion
I want to get rid of the jiggle on the back of my arms
I want my significant other to find me irresistible

Step two: Write it down.
Take your reason from step one and write it down. This is very important step, so don't cheat yourself by skipping it. Now take the paper with your reason on it and post it where you will see it everyday-preferably first thing in the morning.
Why is writing down your reason so important?
Because it keeps your focus on the goal.
You see, your reason for getting fit is really your
ultimate goal. Only by daily acknowledging this goal will you see it to fruition.

Step three: Make It Fun!
Who wants to do something unpleasant on a daily basis?
I don't know about you but I tend to avoid activities that are not enjoyable or fun.
If the thought of exercise makes you cringe you need to figure out why.
Is it the uncomfortable workout clothes that you own?
Maybe it is time for a new style.
Is it trying to decide what machine to use at the gym?
Maybe it is time for a personal trainer.
Is it the pain that you feel in your shoulder when swimming?
Maybe it is time to find a new form of cardiovascular exercise-one that won't aggravate your injury.

The truth is that there are a ton of different exercises that will give you the results you want.
Don't like the gym? There's a program for you.
Don't like running? There is an alternative.
Don't have the time? There are time
friendly exercise routines that will give you incredible results in under an hour.
It is all about finding something that you enjoy.

Step four: Enlist support.
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." Even though
Helen Keller probably wasn't talking about getting fit, her words ring true for anyone wanting to achieve incredible results.

Let's be honest, it's hard to stay motivated without encouragement from the people around us. That's why it's so important to tell friends and family about your goal and to rally for their support. Sometimes one encouraging word will give you the strength you need to make it through another workout.
Motivation is truly the magic ingredient that will transform your body from the one that you have now to the one of your dreams. It's easy to see how motivation can change a person's life-and body. If you could bottle and sell motivation you would easily make a fortune. But, alas, motivation is something that must be mustered up out of pure will power.

Machelle Lee owns and operates The Invisible Gym , CA. Her mission is to inspire people to become physically active and enjoy the benefits of a balanced, healthy lifestyle. For more information and questions you can visit her website.