BMI (Body Mass Index) tests are conducted in our local schools and sent home to families. Some parents in Glen Mills, Pa. don’t really understand what BMI tests mean and how to interpret the data correctly. BMI tests are a form of measurement designed to determine the amount of fat you have on your body according to your height and weight. But is height and weight all that is needed to determine a healthy fat percentage for your body.
BMI fails to distinguish between fat and muscle, so you will ultimately get an incomplete sense of the true shape you are in. Another form of measurement is being used today in the medical industry. Weight guidelines now are being guided by a waist-to-hip-ratio, which is more accurate to arrive at an ideal weight.
- Use a tape measure and measure your waist right at the belly button line.
- While standing with your feet hip-width apart, measure your hips at their widest point.
- Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement.
- .80 and below for women is ideal and .95 for men (see highlighted waist-to-hip ration chart)
Just as important as determining your healthy weight is understanding the shape of your body. It is ok to look at another person that you see as fit but is that person’s body a body style you can attain? If you have a similar body frame, then yes be inspired by that person but if you are a completely different build, you need to recognize that, appreciate that, and find another role model.
Body types and shapes
- Endomorph Pear Shape are those people who tend to gain most of their weight in their hips and buttocks.
- Mesomorph or Apple Shape are those who tend to gain most of their weight in their abdomen area.
- Ectomorph or Ruler Shapes are those with a slim body with hips and shoulders the same width.
The plan after the above is determined.
Exercise for your body type
Apple shapes need to perform exercises that will balance out there hip and buttocks with their shoulders and chest. Suggestions would be aerobic training to slim down and lose body fat.
- stair climbing
- walking on a incline
- squats and leg press
Pear shapes need to balance their top half with their bottom half. The focus should be aerobic activities for the bottom half and resistance training for the upper half ( light weights with high repetitions 12-15)
- cycling (low resistance)
- jumping rope
- leg lifts and dips
- push ups, chin ups
Ruler shapes can perform just about any exercise, although they may have trouble building muscle mass. In their exercise routine they should focus on all body parts equally, to ensure symmetrical shape.
- step classes
- spinning classes
- walking or jogging on an incline or hills
- bench and shoulder press
If your teenagers follows these three steps: 1. Identify your healthy weight the proper way. 2. Identify what body type you are. 3. Identify the right exercise routine for your body and your realistic goals. Combine all of this with healthy eating habits, you teenager will be in the best physical health they can achieve.