What Is Body Mass Index?

There is no denying that there is an obesity epidemic in the United States. Studies have shown that around 34% of adults—and 15 to 20% of children and adolescents—are considered obese. And many more adults and children are considered overweight.

Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of staying healthy overall. But how can you do that?

Dr. Natasha Ballard, Assistant Medical Director at AFC Urgent Care Gastonia, wants to talk you through one measure of weight—BMI. Read on as we take a look.

What Is BMI?

BMI stands for “body mass index.” Your body mass index is a calculation based on your height and weight designed to determine whether you’re at a healthy weight. The National Institutes of Health offer a calculator to help you determine your BMI.

If your BMI is between 25 and 29, you are considered to be overweight. If your BMI is 30 or over, that is considered obese. You cannot judge a person’s health based on his or her BMI alone, but it can be a helpful tool in determining your risk for certain medical conditions.

Conditions Associated With High BMI

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Certain cancers
  • Many chronic diseases

How Can You Lower Your BMI Level?

Don’t let the word trip you up—BMI is just one way of measuring your weight. To lower it, you want to lower your weight. It’s that simple.

Practicing healthy lifestyle habits is your best step forward toward doing so. But what exactly constitutes a healthy lifestyle? Get plenty of quality sleep, limit your intake of alcohol, eat a balanced diet low in sodium and saturated fat, and exercise regularly.

Ways to Get to a Healthy Weight

  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes most days.
  • If looking to lose a lot of weight, exercise more often and for longer.
  • Include both cardio and strength training for optimal results.
  • Start out slow with your exercise routine and build up over time.
  • Try high-intensity interval training to pump up your heart rate.

Are you unsure about what your BMI is? Or are you wanting to learn more about ways to lower it? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Gastonia today. No appointment is necessary!