Find out your actual fitness statistics to assess your health
For a very long period of time, we all considered the height-weight charts to be the ultimate table to know if we are healthy, overweight or obese. While this table can serve as an effective guideline to get us on track to a more acceptable and healthy weight, it can't form the ultimate guide to gauge whether you are really fit and healthy. Here are some things which need to be considered while assessing your health and fitness levels:
- If you are heavy boned, got good bone density and have a larger frame, chances are your weight will be on the heavier side of the scale as per your height. This in no way means you are obese or overweight. To accurately gauge this, you must consider both your body frame as well as bone density. Dieting mindlessly or exercising excessively to reach your ideal weight may prove counter productive and harm your health and well-being.
- If you have been exercising for long, are an athlete or regularly train with resistance, chances are your muscle mass is high. Although you look healthy and fit, the weighing scale will show you an escalated figure. In this case, get your body fat percentage analysed or measured at a fitness centre as it will give you a better idea of your health than just your body weight. Body builders, athletes and regular exercisers often fall in this category.
- You are fitting exactly on the height-weight category, but still your body is flabby and you are unhappy with how you actually look. Chances are you never gave fitness a thought. Although you still fit the height-weight bill, chances are that your body fat percentage is high and you could really use some exercise to get toned and into shape.
- You fit the height-weight bill to perfection but you pant to climb a flight of stairs, are unable to touch your toes or lift a bag of groceries home. This again does not indicate that you are in good health; in fact you have a very poor fitness level if you cannot carry on daily activities.
Better indicators of your health and fitness levels would be:
Waist to hip ratio: Divide your waist measurement by your hip. Women should be ideally below 0.8 and men not more than 1. This is a direct predictor of your heart health.
Fat percentage: What percentage of your body is fat, leaving aside bones, organs and muscle mass is an important indicator of your fitness levels. The lower your fat per cent, the better your health. As a general guideline, women should stay below 25 per cent and men below 20 per cent.
Immunity levels: Lastly, in your quest for good health, strength, flexibility, endurance and cardiovascular endurance all count along with body fat per cent, waist to hip ratio, immunity levels and how you are able to carry on activities of daily living without going under.
My suggestion would be to ditch the weighing scale and get to know your actual fitness statistics, which are largely dictated by your lifestyle; what you eat and drink, whether you lead an active life and how you handle physical and mental stress. If you can do more push-ups than your 16-year-old nephew, you are definitely fitter. The weighing scale? Who cares? Seriously; fitness is all that matters!
Image courtesy:©Thinkstock photos/ Getty images
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