BMI Calculations And Should We Pay Attention To Them?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measurement of risk for disease. Basically, you take your weight over your height squared to get a number that is then put into a chart to give an idea of your health. I say “give an idea” because, like all things, it isn’t always a perfect indicator. The biggest factor that throws it off is when someone does a lot of strength training. Their overall weight is higher but it is from muscle. This will give someone a high BMI, which they can be considered obese, but the reality is they are probably in good shape.

We have to use the BMI as one way to determine health risks, but not the only way.

As Karen Andry, R.D, says “It is a universal number to measure morbid obesity and obesity. When you start getting into 35-40 that is what we consider obese. 40 is Morbidly obese. 50 is super, super obese. The higher the number, the greater the correlation with death.”

One thing I stress with clients is to look at the overall picture, and a variety of tests for indicators of health and/or disease. We know if someone doesn’t have much muscle mass and their BMI is high, that can be a good measurement to take note of.

Andry goes on to talk about waist circumference as another way to measure obesity and it is used in the diabetes world. Watch the video below from Living Better for more information.

Always take outlying factors into account when having different measurements taken. There will always be something that can skew a number and make it confusing.

Until next time…

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Isolated Vitamins VS Whole Food!

Being a Juice Plus distributor, I have been exposed to the big differences in fragmented, isolated vitamins and all the goodness that is in whole food. I always preface this by saying I truly believe the vitamin industry came about for a very good reason. It was evident we weren’t getting the nutrition we needed so why not find out what is in the good food, replicate it and put it in a pill form! Should work right?

The problem arises as they have continued research on whole food and what actually makes them the nutritional bombs that keep us healthy. Isolated vitamins, all those things you see in the vitamin aisles, are just that, isolated parts of the whole food. Vitamin C, for example, found in citrus and other vegetables, has been linked with boosting the immune system, thus keep the colds away. As research has taken place, they have found all these other phytonutrients that help the major vitamins get absorbed. Read what the American Institute for Cancer Research has to say about them!

I have heard doctors talk about them like symphonies. When all the pieces of the symphony are playing in tune, it sounds amazing! When one thing isn’t there, or out of tune, it is completely different. We need all these nutrients that are only found in whole food to make it work! Man cannot replicate them all so they just pick and choose what to replicate. This makes them inefficient and not effective when it comes to being absorbed by the body. That is the key. If they aren’t absorbed they are useless. The phytonutrients, or plant nutrients, are what helped the major vitamins get absorbed!

When you are spending your money on your health you want to make sure you are getting the most from what you are buying. From organic foods to vine ripened fruits and veggies, you get what you pay for. And when it comes to your health, you pay now or pay later!

Until next time…

Tell Me, When Is The Best Time To Start A Healthy Program?

“This just isn’t a good time”. “I have too much going on”. “I won’t be able to keep with it”.

Unfortunately, when you go into a healthy program with that in your mind, you won’t be successful. Knowing what will work best for you is very important. However, don’t fool yourself into thinking there is suddenly going to be a “best time” to begin!

We can take the year at a glance and make an excuse not to do something. January 1, there are too many people in the gym and resolutions don’t work. I’ll wait until February. February 1, Valentines Day is right in the middle and there is always big plans for that. Lets do March. March 1, this is such a busy time at school, we have a spring break trip planned. It just won’t work. April? April 1, the kids are super busy and Easter is happening. May 1- July 4, end of school year activities make it too difficult and beginning of summer is super busy. Besides, I don’t want to get into something and not be able to enjoy stuff. August 1, have to get the kids ready for the school year to start. September 1, school year has begun and just too busy. October 1- New Years eve…do I have to even touch on this one?

This may be a bit of exaggeration, but you get the point. We can make an excuse for anything. And, more importantly, THERE IS NEVER GOING TO BE A PERFECT TIME! We all have to make time in our day, week, month or year to be healthy. And a big thing to remember is that even when there are events that may have some bad food choices, that will not ruin everything! When you make up your mind to make healthy choices on a regular basis, the things that seem bad are no longer a big deal.

Don’t wait for the perfect time. It simply won’t be there for you!

Until next time…

Of Course You Don’t HAVE TO Make Changes For Your Health!

When someone tells me I have to do something, no matter what it is, I usually jokingly respond “I don’t HAVE TO do anything”! It is mostly a joke, but there is some truth to that.

Most of the time, when people have a big challenge ahead of them, such as weight loss, a lot of time is spent talking about their habits, both with eating and exercise. Even when I try to ease them into healthier habits, you can see by the look on their face they aren’t liking anything of what they are hearing. You HAVE TO make time to go for walks. You HAVE TO keep challenging yourself on those walks to go faster so you burn more calories. You HAVE TO implement some sort of strength program, either now or down the road. You HAVE TO make better choices when it comes to food. WOW! That’s a lot of HAVE TO!

The real question is this…do we really HAVE TO do any of these??? My answer is absolutely not! That answer comes with an explanation because it just seems to easy.

See, we don’t HAVE TO do any of these things. But what we have to realize is if we don’t implement them, we won’t make the changes we want. There is a saying that goes something like, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. This is true in so many facets of life. When we take it in terms of health and wellness it means that your current eating and exercise habits got you to where you are. If you aren’t happy where you are, you HAVE TO make changes to those habits, and develop new ones. If you don’t make those changes you aren’t going to see changes in your body.

It still comes down to this. You don’t HAVE TO make any changes at all. But don’t expect anything positive to happen if you stay with what you are doing.

Until next time…

Have A Healthy Relationship With Exercise!

It’s interesting to see people evolve with exercise. During my 16 years at the YMCA, I had countless conversations with older adults who were very consistent with their workouts, and looked to have a great quality of life. I wanted to find out what the secret was to their success in the fitness world. Most of the time, they didn’t talk about being a “gym rat”. The people that seemed happiest made exercise part of their life, but didn’t let it take over.

Having a healthy relationship with exercise is vital to keeping in part of your routine. I talk about making New Years resolutions such that you can keep it in your schedule. This is exactly the reason to keep that healthy relationship. Too many times people go all in with spending all their spare time exercising. This may last for a couple of months, or even years, but most of the time it will fizzle out and they give up completely. As I have always said, this doesn’t mean you can’t, and shouldn’t, challenge yourself. Often you can spend less time overall exercising if you push it during the workout. If you begin to feel like you can’t keep the daily workout routine, there is nothing wrong with re-evaluating and finding where you can change.

Just as I said in an earlier post, you should have a healthy relationship with food, the same is true for exercise. Sure, we have to do it but when it becomes an obsession it could become a problem. Even worse, you may feel like it is something you can’t keep up with and decide to quit completely.

Until next time…

It’s All About Mindset. Just Ask Dick Harvey!

One thing I loved about my career as a trainer at the YMCA was that I got to meet all sorts of wonderful people! They were from all over the spectrum as far as fitness levels and needs go. Many became friends but one person who was special was Dick Harvey.

I met Dick after he had a major stroke. I had been training for a number of years already, and since I began my fitness career later in life I felt more comfortable being able to work with him. He was in a wheelchair that he moved using his legs. I remember first talking with him and thinking his goals were very lofty. Dick told me from the beginning he wanted to be able to get out of his wheelchair and walk, even if it were only short distances. You see, his doctors told his family that he would never get out of bed again after the stroke. He was determined to prove them wrong and was focused on just getting to a chair. Once he made it there he joined the Y and we began working together.

It started fairly slow and a lot of what we did was working on leg strength. He soon told me he wanted to bring a walker in with him and try using it. I was nervous at first, but realized as much as he wanted to push it, he knew when he had to pull back. It wasn’t long, though, before he was using a cane for short walks. He told me many times his doctors were amazed to hear the things he was able to do. These were a lot of the same docs who said he wouldn’t get out of bed again!

We talked a lot about what he wanted to try and he was very in tune with what his body needed. Some things we did that seemed simple to me were so difficult for him, and many times he would get frustrated but he never gave up! We had a great bond from the beginning and had some great conversations during our sessions. He had an amazing sense of humor and everyone at the Y loved seeing him come through the door.

The stroke he had started to take its toll on him a number of years later and other health issues came up. Through all this he never lost his faith in God, and many times kept me on the straight and narrow during tough times in my life. He was one of those people who made you realize even though life can, and will, be very tough and put obstacles in your way, LIFE IS GREAT!

He passed away a couple of years ago. I do miss our conversations and hearing his life stories but the memories I have will always be there. LIFE IS GREAT!

Until next time…

You Have To Put The Work In!

If it were easy, everyone would be at their healthy body weight!

If only it were easy. We all know that freak of nature who never works out, has a high fat diet and doesn’t gain a pound. Notice I called them freaks of nature. Somehow, they were born with a gene that allows them to beat the odds. For the other 99% of us, we need to be careful with our diets and hit the gym. There is no easy way out.

Putting effort toward your health is a very fulfilling experience! It certainly isn’t easy, which is why so many start and stop while on their wellness journey. To put the work in doesn’t always mean you have to go all out. Getting a workout on a regular basis starts you on to the good habit. Gradually adding challenges will give you better results. But there is no way around it. YOU HAVE TO PUT THE WORK IN!

Many look at the challenge and just think of everything they will have to give up. No, you can’t have cake everyday, however it doesn’t mean you can never have cake again! And yes, you have to do some type of workout on a regular basis even if you don’t like to exercise. The key to all of this is finding what gets you the best results. If you want to be a gym rat, great! If you want to go vegan, fantastic! You don’t have to go that drastic but you have to put the work in!

Until next time…