It’s a pretty good guess that your doctor has told you about the delights of checking your hip and waist measurements as a way of making sure you stick to a healthy weight.
Today, I'd like to show you three simple exercises that can fight the flab, and introduce you to someone who could really help you stick to a healthier lifestyle.
How the number 703 can help you fight fat.
Although the waist/hip ratio seems to be the most accurate predictor of fat related problems, there's another more common place gauge for body fat.
Body mass index (BMI) is referred to so often, I think it's worth clarifying for you.
In general a BMI of 25 to 29.9 indicates being overweight.
Obesity kicks in when BMI is 30 and above.
Higher BMIs are associated with significant health problems.
To work out your BMI, multiply your weight in pounds by 703, then divide this figure by your height in inches.
Then divide that figure AGAIN by your height in inches.
Simple (but more of that later.)
And if you get a reading that makes you yelp, here's something you can do EASILY.
How to shift ugly flab in 10 minutes
Most people think that you need to exercise like a maniac for hours in the gym to have any real and lasting effect on your body.
This is a myth that puts most people off exercise.
I mean, who has the time to dedicate two hours at the gym - three times a week?
Well, that's what I say to Lara when she points out my sports bag gathering dust in the hall cupboard.
Exercise IS important. But you don't need to work like a carthorse.
Just ten minutes a day can improve your health enormously.
Here are three exercises you can try out:
- A 10-minute run quickly cranks up your heart rate, but spreads the sustained workload throughout your body. Go at your own pace, see how far you get, then try and get a little further with each run.
- Stand in front of a staircase and step up with your right foot, then draw your left knee up as high as it can go. You should feel your stomach muscles tighten. Step down with your left foot, then your right, so both are in the starting position. Now step up with your left foot, then bring your right knee to chest level.
- Try an 'almost-run'. Walk very, very fast-so fast you're nearly running. It's pretty hard to do, and because you're fighting against the natural impulse to break into a run, you're making your muscles work harder. In fact, you actually burn more calories than you would jogging!
The BMI... and why it is so badly flawed
OK just to prove how contrary I can be, I now want to highlight a major failing in the BMI measurement process.
The biggest one being it isn’t very accurate!
I know I told you how to do it, but there is something that you really do need to understand which is this measure was never designed to measure obesity, in fact the complete reverse.
It was devised in the 1830s by Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, a Belgian astronomer, mathematician, statistician and sociologist.
The aim of this ratio was to estimate whether a person has a healthy weight by dividing their weight in kilograms (kg) by their height in meters squared, but this was a time of famine and poor diet and he was looking at using the ratio to improve nutrition.
You see the major flaw is that is does not take into account eh fact that muscle and lean tissue weights more than fat, so a really healthy and fit individual, like a professional rugby player would actually return a BMI indicating that they were obese!
But let’s be honest, who needs a measurement such as this to know that they are overweight?
Look in a mirror and be honest – are you happy with what you see?
If not eat sensibly, eat naturally with meals of good seasonal food and do a few exercises.
You’ll be happier in the long run.
Even without doing a long run!
Yours, as always,