Tips to Help You Keep Track of Your Health
Getting on the scale isn’t always fun. It can be frustrating and because it can’t provide very much information about how healthy you really are. While this is true, you may wonder what you should measure to determine how healthy you are and why it really matters. From measuring the right parts of your body to using a continuous glucose monitor, keep reading for some of the most important things to track to determine how healthy you really are.
Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a measurement that lets you know how healthy your current weight is. This is done by comparing your height and weight. While BMI isn’t a precise measurement of how healthy you are or your weight, it is a good starting point. On its own, BMI isn’t enough to completely evaluate how much you weigh. However, when it is used properly, BMI will help you determine if you may be likely to experience specific health issues linked to obesity. Some of these conditions include liver disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, arthritis, high cholesterol, and even some types of cancer.
According to information from WHO (the World Health Organization), a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, and a BMI greater than 30 is obese. Not everyone will fall specifically into one of these three categories. For example, some extremely fit and muscular people have a BMI that is in the overweight or obese categories. Someone else may have a BMI in the normal range but still have a higher body fat percentage. Because of this, it is just one way to measure your health and should be combined with others.
Measure Your Biceps, Thighs, or Hips
One of the biggest issues with the scale is that muscle weighs more than fat. While this is true, each pound of muscle takes up much less space than each pound of fat. Because of this, measuring different parts of your body can help you gain a more realistic and accurate picture of your overall body composition. You will also see that you are putting on muscle rather than becoming frustrated with the scale. Be sure to take out the tape measurer every few weeks to see your progress.
Measuring Body Fat with “Pinch an Inch”
Another limitation of BMI is the fact that it won’t measure how much fat that is stored inside your body. Another method can be used, which some people refer to as “pinch an inch.” Choose a spot somewhere on your body (perhaps around your waist) and pinch your skin with your forefinger and thumb. If your skin is over half of an inch thick, it means there is a higher percentage of fat in that area. If you want a more precise measurement, you can go to a trainer or health care professional who can use calipers to measure your total body fat.
Pinching less and less is a good sign if you want to lose weight. Remember, this method is not completely foolproof either. Even professionals will get unique results with the same equipment. Don’t focus on the number and how the number is changing. Like BMI, be sure you do this test and the others on the list to measure your overall progress.
Use Pictures and Social Media
You can use your phone’s camera to start taking pictures of your food and how you feel before and after you eat. Be sure to use the most descriptive words you can, such as “stuffed,” “grumpy,” “bloated,” sated,” and “energized”.
Make sure you pay attention to what you eat and how you feel after every meal. This will help you see the way your relationship with food is changing and improving. If you don’t want to share these photos with everyone on your social media field, just change your feed to private.
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