Personal Fitness : How to Slim Down Your Waist

July 18, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

youtube.com/watch?v=seCaGZfCGhU%3Ff%3Dvideos%26app%3Dyoutube_gdata

In order to trim down the waist, it’s important to eat right, because any number of crunches isn’t going to get rid of the fat on top of the muscles. Find out how to combine cardio with ab exercises to slim down the waist with help from a certified personal trainer in this free video on slimming down your waist. Expert: Tanya Batts Bio: Tanya Batts has been a certified personal fitness trainer for more than 11 years. She specializes in Pilates, yoga, combat cardio, aerobics, core conditioning and overall strength training. Filmmaker: Reel Media LLC

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Personal Fitness : How to Work Out With a Punching Bag

April 10, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

youtube.com/watch?v=ZLaINitQ110%3Ff%3Dvideos%26app%3Dyoutube_gdata

When working out with a punching bag, it’s important to warm up first, because a punching bag should never be punched with cold muscles. Find out how to hit a punching bag with jabs, hooks and crosses with help from a certified personal trainer in this free video on punching bag workouts. Expert: Tanya Batts Bio: Tanya Batts has been a certified personal fitness trainer for more than 11 years. She specializes in Pilates, yoga, combat cardio, aerobics, core conditioning and overall strength training. Filmmaker: Reel Media LLC

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Best Aerobic Exercise?

January 21, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

youtube.com/watch?v=T-QQIFj_1mI%3Ff%3Dvideos%26app%3Dyoutube_gdata

Which is the best aerobic exercise and which aren’t that good. BodyPerformanceTV.com

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Check your child’s BMI!

August 26, 2010 by  
Filed under OBESITY

Have you ever calculated your child’s body mass index (BMI)? I mean, we do check our children’s weight from time to time – that is what the bathroom scales are for. We also measure their heights regularly – look at those markings on the wall.  We need to in order to buy the the right clothes size. Right from the start, my husband had an Excel sheet where he entered our kids’ measurements and can even generate graphs with the data. But BMI? Well, BMI is calculated from the weight and height data. Simply divide the body weight by the square of height. I know, it is not as easy as it looks. That is why I checked out on the Internet the sites that give the best tools for calculating BMI.

But wait, why do we have to check our children’s BMI?

Because studies have shown that parents tend to misjudge their children’s weight, thus, probably overlooking their children’s risk for obesity. What we might dismiss as “baby fat” are the beginnings of excess weight that might not be easy to shed off as time goes by. The thing that makes our cherubic baby so cute may be detrimental to his/her health.

So when do we start to closely monitor our children’s weight?

Right from the start! Okay, in the first months of a baby’s life, we regularly go to the paediatrician where we get introduced to the growth curves. But as our kids grow older, the visits to the doctor become less frequent and of course, we lose sight of the growth curve. So did I, despite the Excel sheet.

But why do we have to worry so early?

A recent report in the New York Times says:

But new research suggests that interventions aimed at school-aged children may be, if not too little, too late.

More and more evidence points to pivotal events very early in life — during the toddler years, infancy and even before birth, in the womb — that can set young children on an obesity trajectory that is hard to alter by the time they’re in kindergarten. The evidence is not ironclad, but it suggests that prevention efforts should start very early.

How to I check?

Now back to BMI. Here are the sites I found most user-friendly and easy to use, yet give clear and reliable information. You see, it is not just the calculations but also the units of measure, the sex and the age of the child that should be taken into consideration.

The NHS healthy weight calculator can calculate BMI with English or metric units of measure and gives a nice graph that shows exactly where your BMI stand (underweight, healthy weight, overweight, obese).

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH also has a tool for both units of measure.

Please check your child’s BMI. You might be surprised at the results. Or relieved!

The calculators are not only for kids. They are for everybody!

There are others out there. If you find one you like, please share it with us!

Does your BMI really reflect your health status?

June 17, 2009 by  
Filed under OBESITY

weighing-scale-with-fruitThose who are closely watching their weight are familiar with the term BMI, short for body mass index. Body weight in absolute terms cannot be used as accurate measure of obesity for simple reason that there are short people and there are tall people, and weight can therefore vary relative to height. That’s why scientists use BMI, a numerical value of weight in relation to height, calculated as a person’s body weight divided by the square of his or her height, as a diagnostic tool to evaluate weight problems and health status of a person. Weight status based on BMI (usually expressed in terms of kg/m2) is categorized as follows:

  • Underweight  – 18.5 and below
  • Normal weight – 18.5 to 25
  • Overweight – 25 to 30
  • Obesity class I – 30 to 35
  • Obesity class II – 35 to 40
  • Obesity class III – above 40

This has been like this for years but recently, there have been concerns that BMI may not be an accurate way of assessing a person’s true health status.

Based on BMI measurements, almost one-third of the American population is considered overweight, which is the middle range between normal weight and obesity. Excess weight has been identified as a major risk factor in many chronic diseases, including heart disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer.

Several research studies looked at how BMI is related to mortality rates, were surprisingly inconclusive and sometimes contradictory results. Scientists now think that that BMI may not be the right measurement because:

  • BMI doesn’t distinguish between different types of fat mass. For example, there is the fat mass which is of important health concerns as it is closely linked to type 2 diabetes. However, there is also lean mass, especially muscle tissue, which reduces health risks.
  • BMI does not directly measure the distribution of body fat. Depending on location, fat may have more or less impact on health. Visceral fat or fat at the waist, for example, is more detrimental to health than fat at the hips.

Thus, using BMI as health status indicator does not actually show the complete picture and may miss the health risks that slight overweight may present.

According to lead author Dr. Cora E. Lewis of the University of Alabama at Birmingham

“This larger picture includes important relationships between BMI and other health outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease and its risk factors. Arguably, the most important relationship among the cardiovascular disease risk factors is diabetes, which is significantly more common in overweight than in normal-weight people.”

Considering the increasing number of children who are overweight, health experts are urging researchers and clinicians alike to act now and conduct research that goes beyond just BMI.

Dr. Lewis continues

“Weight gain is progressive and weight loss difficult. Although a young child is unlikely to have a heart attack, overweight children are likely to become overweight or obese adults, which puts them at risk for cardiovascular events as they mature. Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight is of high importance for all Americans.”

BMI and Breast Cancer Survival

July 29, 2008 by  
Filed under CANCER

The July 10th issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology reported that survival rates for breast cancer decreased with increased BMI or body mass index. Women with higher BMI showed a 52 percent increase in mortality rates compared to women with the lowest BMI.

Source: Reuters

Read the full article here.

What exactly is BMI?

Per the Centers for Disease Control:

“Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person’s weight and height. BMI is a reliable indicator of body fatness for people. Additionally, BMI is an inexpensive and easy-to-perform method of screening for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

BMI is used as a screening tool to identify possible weight problems for adults. However, BMI is not a diagnostic tool. For example, a person may have a high BMI. However, to determine if excess weight is a health risk, a healthcare provider would need to perform further assessments. These assessments might include skinfold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, family history,”

Use the CDC easy Adult BMI Calculator

or the Mayo Clinic BMI Calculator

What’s Next?

Talk to your health care provider about a lifestyle plan which includes healthy eating and exercise.

Check out the CDC’s Healthy Weight Plan site.

Get active, get healthy, your life depends on it.

Read more

What Is the Body Mass Index?

December 27, 2007 by  
Filed under OBESITY

The BMI (Body Mass Index) has become a useful tool in managing weight and body fat percentage in the last 20 years. Calculating it requires only simple arithmetic and can be performed by anyone. It’s important because it provides an objective measurement that, combined with the appropriate scale for age and body type, helps someone manage their body weight more scientifically.

Judgments about body weight can easily become clouded by emotionalism. It’s good to be passionate about managing your body, but you need to get a good grounding in facts, first. BMI is an important tool for achieving that goal.

BMI factors in not only your weight, but also your height. Simply divide your weight in kilograms (1 lb = 0.454 kg) by the square of your height in meters. (1 inch = 2.54 cm)

So, for a person 5 ft 7 in (67 inches) tall, who weighs 120 lbs the calculation would look like this:

Height: 67 inches x 2.54 cm/inch = 170.18 cm = 1.7018 m
Height squared: 1.7018 m x 1.7018 m = 2.896 m^2
Weight: 120 lbs x 0.454 kg/lb = 54.48 kg

So, BMI = 54.48 kg / 2.896 m^2 = 18.81

But what does this number mean? The following table lists one commonly accepted classification, using BMI:

Under 18.5 = Underweight
Between 18.5 and 24.99 = Normal
Between 25 and 29.99 = Overweight
Between 30 and 34.99 = Obese (Class 1)
Between 35 and 39.99 = Obese (Class 2)
40 and above = Extreme Obesity

Of course, anyone near the borderline of one classification shouldn’t panic, since these can’t be anything but guidelines. Nevertheless, anyone nearer the higher range should consider the health risks associated with a high BMI. Some of those are: hypertension, increased risk of cardiovascular disease (heart problems) and increased chance of diabetes. Consult a physician for details.

There are limitations on the usefulness of BMI. It doesn’t take into account different body types, athletic conditioning, age, muscle-to-fat ratio and other characteristics. As a result, it can overestimate the risk for stocky athletes and underestimate it for older individuals who have reduced muscle mass. And, gender isn’t taken into account either. Yet women, just as one example, have a naturally larger percentage of body fat than men, on average.

Another measure is useful to couple with BMI: waist circumference. Since, for men and women both (though particularly for men) body fat is stored preferentially around the waist this can be a useful piece of information. For most men around, say, 5 ft 9 inches a waist measurement over 37 inches (94 cm) is substantial, while one over 40 inches (101.6 cm) indicates a health risk. For women approximately 5 ft 7 inches tall, the numbers are 31 inches (78.7 cm) and 35 inches (89 cm), respectively.

Keep in mind that these are averages, but those with substantial waistlines can see the amount of excess fat stored, confirming that the numbers constitute a useful piece of information.

What to do with, or about, those numbers is a different story, of course. No single measurement tells the whole story about weight, body fat and how to manage it. But these represent useful and objective measures when considering any weight loss program.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.