Are You the Correct Weight for Your Height?

You’re in the doctor’s office when you happen to catch a glimpse of a chart on the wall. You know the one”it tells you whether you’re at the so-called healthy weight for your height. And nothing is more discouraging than discovering that the graph pegs you as overweight. But are you really at an unhealthy weight? Maybe not. Figuring out the correct weight for your height is about more than just a number on a chart. So before you let that 60 seconds in the doc’s office ruin your day, here are a few things to consider.

Muscle Magic

If you’ve been flexing your muscles at the gym regularly, you’ve probably already noticed a difference in how tight and toned your body looks. But did you know that building muscle mass will impact the number on the scales, too? That’s because muscle tissue takes up only about half as much room as fat tissue, yet it weighs almost twice as much. So when it comes to your body weight, the more muscle mass you have, the heavier you will be”even though you may very well be smaller than someone who doesn’t have as much muscle. Most height and weight charts don’t account for this. For example, you could be extremely light with a high level of body fat, say in the neighbourhood of 40 percent. But you could still be in the range that’s considered normal for your weight and height. Is that healthy? Of course not!

Physical Fitness

The second important point to consider is your level of physical activity. Are you a couch potato or do you exercise at least three times a week with a mixture of cardio and resistance training? If you fall into the latter camp, then you’re already doing more for your overall health”even if you’re carrying around more extra pounds”than inactive individuals. Moving your body often is what counts, and it’s simply not reflected on healthy weight charts. Another bonus: how physically active you are directly correlates with your risk for many diseases, including diabetes, cancer, heart disease and hypertension. No chart can determine your risk factor for those conditions. So no matter what your “number” says, if you’re hitting the gym regularly, you’re on the right track.

Love Your Body

Finally, think about how you really look. Are you happy with your present image? Do you feel as though you’re carrying too much body fat or do you feel strong, energetic, and healthy? If you’re happy with your appearance, then a number on a chart shouldn’t matter. After all, you don’t walk around with your weight pasted on your forehead for everyone to see. So don’t let that number determine your worth for the day.

Tags: Scale, Weight

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