# Calculate BMI - What Is It For?

You might wonder why you need to calculate BMI for yourself every now and then. Maybe you know why, but you don't really see the point.

BMI stands for Body Mass Index. You calculate your BMI by using a formula that takes your weight and height to determine how much of your body is fat.

There are two ways of calculating your BMI. Use the English formula (height in inches, weight in pounds) or the metric formula (height in metres, weight in kilograms).

### The English Formula

[Weight divided by (Height times Height)] x 703

Ensure that your weight is in pounds and height is in inches.

An example:

[160 / (63 x 63)] x 703 = 28.3

### The Metric Formula

Weight divided by (Height times Height)

This formula gives you your BMI. Make sure your weight is in kilograms and your height is in metres.

An example would be my own BMI!

54 / (1.75 x 1.75) = 17.6

Please remember that it is an estimate.

### Don't Take It Too Seriously

As I have said before, when you calculate BMI, it is merely an estimate. Not every person is built the same way. Some of us have heavier bones, others have small frames.

Imagine this, if a person you knew ran on the treadmill for an hour three times a week, went swimming almost every other day and paid attention to her meals but had an "overweight value" for her BMI, does that mean she's fat?

NO.

It simply means that her body has more muscles than an average person of her height, hence the BMI value came out a little differently.

Too often have I heard of someone feeling demoralized because when they calculate BMI, the value told them that he was fat, when he was a star player on the volleyball team!

### So How Does BMI Help?

When you calculate BMI and realize that you're on the heavier end, you could focus on having slightly more aerobic activity to burn fat. On the other hand, if you are underweight like me, you can focus on strength training to build up muscle mass.

Your BMI also helps explain why certain muscles are not showing even when you work out like crazy.

Let's say you start working out your arms, and yet you do not see the definition of the biceps, chances are, there is still too much fat covering it. Your BMI will "confirm" this if you have a value that lies in the heavier zone.

This is why I emphasize that spot toning will not help. You need to work on losing your overall body fat before your muscles can be seen.

In a way, when you calculate BMI, it can be useful... to a certain extent. :D

### Final Words From Azri

Knowing your BMI can be pretty useful to help you plan what you should do during workouts. However, don't be bound by the values. If you are an active person who engages in sports and is careful about nutrition, you do not need to worry.

Remember, if you are ever in doubt, consult your doctor. Don't let a number make you miserable.

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