I have some very strong opinions regarding many issues in the health and fitness world. This one unparticular is very concerning. All of us, or at least I hope, go to the doctors yearly. The first thing we are required to do is step on the dreaded scale with all of our clothes on. Instantly that puts 5 pounds on the scale and a crushing blow to your self-esteem.
So, what is the best way to monitor our health in terms of weight? Often, I am working with clients who lift big and eat well. So, the scale and BMI unknowingly will place them in the obese range. Doctors are now taking a second look at waist circumference as a better indicator of poor health and obesity. Now that doesn’t mean to take out the tape measure every day, like many of us do with the scale. (and oh, by the way, stop that!) But for females your waist should not be great than 35 inches and men greater than 40 inches. According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, this is not only a good way to indicate obesity but many health risks as well.
Having a large waist band is linked to having fat around internal organs, insulin resistance and many cardio risks. BMI does not take into account for muscle mass for those fit, athlete people who often get misplace on the health scale. Whereas, if you waste is 45 inches around chances are you are not doing a lot of sit ups. That being said, I also know a lot of people with larger waistlines who lift big and can run an 8 minute mile.
That being said. We need to continue to look at our health holistically. Know your numbers, scale, BMI and waist circumference but also make judgments on your health by how you feel and look. Not just what your doctor says on the one day a year.
Stacie A. Zamperini M.Ed.