The Body Mass Index or BMI is a statistical measure of a person’s weight scaled against their height. The Body Mass Index was invented by the Belgian polymath, Adolphe Quetelet in 1830 and has been adopted universally ever since. The formula for Body Mass Index is the weight of the individual divided by the square of their height. If that confuses you don’t worry, a BMI calculator will do the hard work for you. All you need to know is your correct height and weight.
Of course every body is different. Some people are naturally lean, whilst others are stocky. It’s important to remember that the BMI is only a guideline that recommends a weight range for a particular height. Within that weight range there will be individual variations depending on a range of factors including age, gender, fitness and the type of body frame of the individual. All these will have a role in determining the optimum range of weight so its necessary to take these factors into account when calculating your ideal BMI.
Calculating your ideal weight can help you improve your health and fitness by giving you an indication of whether you need to lose or gain weight to reach your optimum level of health. However, it is worth remembering that muscle weighs more than fat, and that it is possible to be unhealthily underweight as well as overweight. Your weight is only one of several factors to take into consideration when working towards improving your health and fitness. Ultimately, balanced and consistent levels of nutrition alongside regular and gradually increased exercise will be more beneficial to your in the long-term than a sudden decrease in food intake or a sudden increase in exercise, even if this does have a short term effect on your body weight.