When it comes to fitness, there are a lot of metrics that you can use to track your progress. Body mass index, or BMI, is one of the most popular. But what is BMI, exactly? And how accurate is it? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at BMI—the pros and the pitfalls.
by Phil McKracken
Body Mass Index
Body mass index is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. To calculate your BMI, you can use this BMI calculator. Generally speaking, a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy, 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, and 30 or above is considered obese.
The Pros of Using BMI for Fitness
There are a few benefits to using BMI as a metric for fitness:
- It’s easy to calculate – all you need is your height and weight.
- It’s easy to understand – most people can look at their BMI and have a pretty good idea of whether they’re at a healthy weight or not.
- It’s widely used – since it’s such a simple metric, many doctors and insurance companies use it as a way to determine things like health risks and coverage rates.
The Pitfalls of Using BMI
However, there are also some drawbacks to using BMI:
- It doesn’t account for muscle mass – someone who is very muscular could have a high BMI but be perfectly healthy.
- It doesn’t account for age – as we get older, our bodies change and our BMIs may not accurately reflect our health.
- It doesn’t account for ethnicity – different ethnic groups have different ideal BMIs, so using the same scale for everyone may not be accurate.
- Finally, it’s just one metric – while BMI can give you a good idea of your general health, it’s important to remember that it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Many other factors (e.g., diet, exercise, lifestyle) play into our overall health and wellness.
BMI for Fitness Conclusion:
BMI can be a helpful metric for tracking fitness progress, but it’s important to understand its limitations. If you’re solely relying on your BMI to gauge your health, you may want to consider other factors as well (e.g., diet, exercise, lifestyle). Ultimately, only you can know whether you’re feeling your best—so trust your gut and listen to your body!