Maintaining an optimum balance of a healthy mind in tandem with a healthy body is vital as it not only helps in keeping oneself fit & active but also plays a key role in boosting the overall quality of your life. In this day and age, obesity has become a global epidemic and ranks amongst the most common chronic disorders that originate in childhood and continues to transcend into adulthood. Besides the myriad of physical issues, obese individuals also tend to be at a higher risk for an array of psychological and social adjustment problems which could have several serious ramifications. An active life coupled with a proper diet not only decreases the risk of heart-related problems, cancers, and strokes but also helps in setting the right tone for the rest of your life.
What do BMI Results Mean?
One key indicator of whether you are healthy or not is by analyzing your body fat percentage. The body mass index, or BMI, is a sure-shot and tested method to calculate your healthy body weight. It is a tool that determines your percentage of body fat after taking into consideration factors such as your weight and height. The number thrown out by BMI can help in gauging whether or not your body weight is within a healthy range. To estimate your BMI, all you need to do is divide your weight (in kilograms) with the square of your height (in meters). For instance, if your weight is 65 kg and your height is 1.70 meters, then your BMI will be:
Weight (kg) ÷ height (m)2 = 65 kg ÷ (1.70 m)2 = 22.65
Thus, your BMI will be 22.65.
Ideally, your BMI should fall between 18.5 and 24.9. If your BMI falls below 18.5, then you could be underweight. Anything over 25 is usually considered to be overweight, while anything over 30 is categorized as obese. Thereon, your BMI reading can help a doctor figure out your overall fitness levels while also helping determine your risk of developing a variety of chronic diseases.
However, it needs to be mentioned that in the case of bodybuilders who tend to have a muscular frame, BMI wouldn’t be considered as a reliable assessment tool as it is unable to distinguish between body fat and lean body mass. Benefits of maintaining a healthy BMI To understand how maintaining a healthy weight can prove to be beneficial to you – especially in the long term – listed below are some of the benefits of maintaining a healthy BMI:
Obese individuals tend to consume certain types of foods which puts them directly at risk for certain types of cancer. Thereon, maintaining a healthy BMI helps in limiting the risks of developing certain types of cancer. Studies have revealed that there are strong correlations between BMI and the development of gallstones, particularly in women. Therefore, keeping BMI in balance can help prevent the formation of gallstones.
Type II diabetes – where the body is not able to produce enough usable insulin – is often found in individuals who maintain a high BMI. Maintaining a healthy BMI can help in keeping type II diabetes under check.
Keeping a check on your BMI helps in reducing the risk of anemia, sleep apnea, osteoporosis, etc.
As per various studies and experts, the ideal BMI to maintain optimum fertility is between 20 and 24. Being overweight can affect a woman’s periods and ovulation. If you’re not maintaining a healthy BMI, inevitably it can lead to your fertility suffering. Keeping BMI in check helps in relieving muscle, back, and joint tension while also optimizing the immune system on the whole.
How to maintain a healthy BMI?
Maintaining a healthy weight and BMI should definitely not be taken for granted. Although given the nature of the world we live in, taking time out to maintain a healthy weight and health can prove to be difficult, but nothing is impossible. Below are a bunch of health tips that can help you maintain a healthy weight and BMI:
Daily exercise – at least 60-90 minutes most days of the week – is essential to keep the body balanced and your weight in check. By making some small changes in your daily routine and tweaking your lifestyle a bit, you will be able to maintain a healthy BMI. For instance, take the stairs instead of using the elevator, take your dog out for walks, ride a
bicycle around your neighbourhood with your friends or engage in daily physical activities such as jogging, gardening, housework to keep yourself physically active.
Get enough sleep – as per the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, (NHLBI), you should ideally try to get at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep on a daily basis as sleep has the ability to optimize and rejuvenate both mental and physical energy levels.
Eat healthy by making educated food choices – make sure to integrate plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fatty-fish (salmon, sardines et al), nuts, legumes and seeds in your daily diet. Similarly, opting for low-fat dairy products instead of whole milk invariably a good decision which bodes well for your well being in the long run. You should also try to avoid excessive intake of foods loaded with saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and cholesterol as it ultimately wreaks havoc on your body in the long run. While you’re at it, try and limit your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, carbonated/aerated drinks as well as other foods that contain high amounts of sugar, fats and high-calorie levels. When in doubt, you can always consult a dietitian and get a diet which is suitable for you.
Limit alcohol consumption – One of the most common vices is consuming alcohol and if left unchecked, can lead to serious health problems like liver damage, weight gain, fatigue, dizziness, etc. Drinking in moderation is acceptable but if you’re a chronic drinker, it’s time to ditch the bottle and start living healthy.
Drink lots of water – The average human body requires about 2-3 liters of water on a daily basis in order to perform its bodily functions such as metabolizing body fat, regulating body temperature, digesting food, transporting nutrients and flushing toxins from the body. If the human body does not receive its normal daily quota, it can result in the body feeling dehydrated and one of the consequences of dehydration is the accumulation of fat. Make sure to consume enough water throughout the day as it will help you maintain your current state of being while also drastically improving your overall health.
If your BMI isn’t where it should be and you find yourself still struggling to bring down your BMI, you can contact Fortis for professional help. The professionals at Fortis can help you develop and establish an actionable plan that will surely assist in your quest of maintaining a healthy weight and BMI.
With 56 hospitals across the nation and over 10,000 beds, Fortis Healthcare Limited is a leading integrated healthcare delivery service provider in India. For over 26 years, Fortis Hospitals have been committed to the cause of getting people back to their lives faster and stronger.