Author: Robbie T. James
For teens, young adults, and mature adults who are conscious about their health and the way they look, a common question they ask themselves is: "What is the right weight for my height?"
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question that applies to everyone. Even the best-trained medical professional would admit that determining the ideal or perfect weight based solely upon knowing someone's height is impossible. This is because different people can have very different body types. For example, some people are more muscular while others are less well-developed. Also, many pre-teens or young teens may be less muscular than they will be later in life, as they move into adulthood.
Still, having a general guideline one can use determine their healthy weight range, based upon their height, can be a smart way to stay on track in terms of weight. For this purpose, doctors and nutritionists have developed something called the Body Mass Index, or BMI.
Here is how to calculate your BMI:
1. Start by weighing yourself using a standard scale. Record the number in either pounds or kilograms, which we will call "W."
2. Next, measure your height in inches or meters (to the second decimal place; e.g., 182 centimeters should be recorded as 1.82 meters) using a tape measure or height measurement stick attached to a wall. Let's call this "H."
3. Now, square your height (multiply it times itself). Let's call this "H squared."
4. Next, divide your weight by your height (W/H).
5. If you were using the metric system above (kilograms and meters), you are done! If you were using pounds and inches above, then to complete the calculation, just multiply the result by 703. Now you, too, are done!
Okay, let's make some sense of your score. If your BMI is between 18.6 and 24.9, you are at a healthy weight. Anything under or over this range is considered an indication you could be underweight or overweight. But, take heart: the BMI is just a rough indicator of your health in terms of your weight. It cannot take into account people who are particularly muscular, for example. If you think about it, this makes sense: muscle is denser than is fat. And, since the BMI is merely measuring the relationship between two numbers (your weight and height) that have nothing to do with the density of your body, it stands to reason that more muscular people (even very healthy ones) will have a relatively high BMI.
If you believe that your BMI indicates that you are overweight, this is no reason to despair. After all, it is likely confirming what you may have already been suspecting: that you could stand to lose a few (or more) pounds. The good news is that today, more than at any time in human history, we have the knowledge and tools about the best ways to reduce your weight and keep it off.
Quite simply, you need to burn more calories than you take in. However, there are many diets and exercise routines available to match the many different lifestyles, personality types, and likes/dislikes among people out there. So, take the time to find out what the best of popular wisdom and medical science has to offer in helping you to achieve a satisfactory body weight. Your body will thank you.
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