For years many of us in the health and fitness arena have stated that the Body Mass Index (BMI) is flawed as a measuring tool for health. Instead, we’ve told our clients to drop the scale and use a tape measure. They were to measure the circumference of their waistline. This provided a more accurate measurement due to the difference in body density of someone who was fat versus muscular regarding their weight.
In a study (Cerhan, et. al., 2014) just released and led by Dr. James R. Cerhan of the Mayo Clinic, a team of researched looked at 11 different studies and combined them. This totaled 650,386 white adults between the ages of 20 and 83 years old. They looked at how one’s waist size was associated with their mortality rate. They took in consideration other factors, including smoking, alcohol, BMI, age and physical activity.
From the evidence, they were able to determine that for every 2 inches in an increase in one’s waist size, their mortality rate increased by 7% for men and 9% for women. Even those with normal BMI suffered from higher mortality rates.
It’s all about body density! The lower your bodyfat percentage, the better off you’ll be (Just make sure it’s not too low though).
What all of this means is that no longer should the focus be on your weight. Instead, measure your waistline. You may be overweight according to the BMI and yet, your waist may be slim (and even have a 6-pack). Many bodybuilders would be considered obese according the BMI. And many fat people would be in the normal BMI range.
If you want to whittle your waist down to a healthier range, then you will need to do these simple things…
- Eat a healthier diet and that includes plenty of veggies.
- Keep hydrated to a healthy level.
- Move your body often and not just during exercise sessions.
- Get the proper amount of sleep.
- Keep processed sugars out of your life.
- Reduce the emotional stressors from your life.
- Associate with friends and others who are health and fitness-minded.
- Engage in deep breathing regularly and let it become a part of your overall health.
Just doing those few items will go a long way towards reducing the size of your waistline. If you add in exercises that help to increase your muscle size, then that will simply aid in the process of getting to a smaller waist.
You can and will do it. Not only will you get healthier and fitter, you’ll also look better too.