BMI or body mass index is calculated from your weight in relation to your height and can be a good indicator of your physical health. The method isn’t foolproof, but it can give you an idea of where your weight relates to others your age and whether or not you’re considered underweight, normal, overweight or obese.
Here’s how BMI is broken down:
- Lower than 18.5 is underweight
- 18.5 - 24.9 is normal
- 25 – 29.9 is overweight
- 30 and higher is obese
Knowing your BMI can keep your health on track if you’re in the normal range, or can be a reality check if you’re not. Having a high BMI puts you at greater risk of health problems including diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
The BMI method can produce misconceptions and some are critical of its value. Athletes and people with large muscle mass are sometimes considered overweight despite being in excellent shape because muscle outweighs fat. Results also don’t consider gender, age or ethnicity.
Still, it’s a good idea to know your BMI so you can work toward your health and fitness goals. To calculate your BMI, go to www.freebmicalculator.net.