If you started a new exercise program this new year (like me), you have probably heard terms like BMI, body fat percentage and calculating your heart rate. These are also tests student athletes have to take to make sure they are healthy before playing sports. So what do they all mean?
I have calculated my BMI before and unfortunately didn’t like the results. But I was glad that I did it. It’s important to know what your starting point is so when you start losing weight you have something to measure your success by.
BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It’s a measurement of body fat based on height and weight. It tells you if you are underweight, normal, overweight or obese. It’s pretty easy to do. All you have to do is find a calculator that will do it for you. Try this free one!
Once you do your measurement, you will need to know what to do with the results. Here’s what it all means.
BMI = below 18.5 – This means your BMI is too low and you will need to eat more and change your diet.
BMI = 25-30 – This means you are officially overweight. You will need to exercise more and alter your diet. Making these changes will lower your risk of obesity.
BMI = 30 or above – This means you will need to go on a serious weight loss program. This is when your BMI can be serious.
Calculating your heart rate is something else you are often asked to do when you start an exercise program. This helps you get the most out of your workout. Sometimes if your heart rate is too high, you are working out too hard and you could injure yourself. If your heart rate is too low, you will likely not see the results you are looking for. So how do you calculate your heart rate? Some treadmills and other exercise equipment will do it for you. If not you can do it yourself. Just imput your age, resting heart rate and exercise intensity level. Here’s a free calculator to do it for you.
The last thing you will want to do is calculate your body fat percentage. This just tells you the percentage of fat in your body. It’s nice to know if you are in the healthy range or if you need to make some changes. Here’s a free body fat calculator.
Once you have done all of your workout tests, you are ready for a serious workout program. I’ve done all of mine and now will know when and how much progress I make this year. Good luck — and if you need a workout shoulder to cry on, I’m always here!