How do I figure out my BMI index?

BMI or Body Mass Index is a healthy way to determine if you are at a healthy body weight. There are two main ways to figure out your BMI index. The first one is to use a BMI calculator like the one on this page. After you put in the requested information it will calculate your BMI for you.

The other way is to calculate it yourself by multiplying your weight by 703. Then divide that answer by your height in inches and divide that answer by your height in inches again. The following article will provide additional information about the benefits of using a BMI index and the exceptions to the BMI index.

So a 150 pound person who is 5 feet 5 inches tall would do the calculation this way:

150 x 703= 105,450.
105,450/65 (height in inches) = 1622.30
1622.30/65 = 24.95 BMI

Use the calculator or input your own data to figure out your body mass index.

What are the benefits of using the BMI index?

Using the BMI index provides a more accurate description of where a person is weight wise. This is because it takes into consideration height, weight, and gender. People often judge their weight by abstract things such as how much they weighed in high school, how much a friend weighs, who in the family weighs more, etc. Using the BMI index gives a better picture of where you should be for your height and gender.

Using the BMI index also provides a concrete way to set weight loss goals. As you go through the weight loss process, you can weekly or bi-monthly check your BMI to measure your results. BMI numbers are sometimes a little less daunting than numbers on the scale, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose.

What are some exceptions to the BMI index?

The BMI index works for most people and is a good indicator of whether a person is underweight, healthy, overweight, obese, or morbidly obese. Doctors, personal trainers, and weight loss companies use BMI as a way to set goals for their patients or clients. Though BMI is a good indicator of where a person is weight wise and health wise, there are some exceptions to the rule.

The first exception is body builders or those who lift weights on a daily basis. Muscle mass, which is heavier than fat, is not considered in the BMI equation. The weight of the muscle will make it seem like the BMI is too high giving an overweight or obese category number. The fact is that if someone is a body builder or is lifting weights daily, they are in good health. This type of person should be more concerned about measuring body fat than BMI.

The next exception is the elderly or those over the age of 65. For this category of people, a higher BMI is needed, especially women who are suffering from osteoporosis. A higher than average BMI can help protect elderly women from the affects and dangers of osteoporosis, such as broken bones. For the elderly a BMI of 25 to 27 is best. This is a safer average than striving for a BMI of less than 25 which is recommended for those under 65.

The third exception is children. The number of obese children in the United States is rising dramatically. It may be tempting to input your children’s information in a BMI calculator and make your own conclusions. Though this can be a starting point, only a pediatrician can properly evaluate the overall health of a child. If you suspect that your child is overweight or obese, speak with your pediatrician right away. Often making simple changes in your child’s diet or level of activity can solve the problem, but is important not to rely solely on a BMI index. There are special child based BMI calculators to be used instead of adult calculators.

The last exception is lean athletes. This category is mainly made up of long distance runners and swimmers. These athletes rely on lean, yet healthy, bodies to go far in their sport. A BMI index for a lean athlete may register as underweight, even though that person is healthy and eats more calories than people in other categories. It is the ratio of calorie intake to calorie burning that makes these athletes successful.

Ask a doctor or personal trainer, if you are aren’t sure about how to get started, but whatever you do, be sure to strive towards a healthy weight and body mass. Each step towards a healthy BMI increases your longevity and decreases your risk for deadly and debilitating diseases. To see if you need to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain your current weight, use the BMI calculator on this page to figure out your body mass index.