The traditional method of measuring a person’s body fat is BMI, which is a good indicator of health. The downfall of the BMI indicator arises when it comes to muscular individuals and the fact that muscle weighs more than fat. Ironically, those who may be the most fit, are often classified as obese or overweight. New studies show that an individual’s “fitness” trumps “fatness”.
On the other side of the spectrum are those who appear to be healthy on the BMI charts because they maintain normal weight. We all know those people who don’t exercise, yet never gain a pound. What you probably didn’t know is that they could actually be at a higher risk for developing heart disease than someone who is overweight, but gets regular exercise.
A fit person is measured by their physical activity. They are able to walk up several flights of stairs without being winded or can walk for an extended amount of time. Physicians can also measure someones fitness by giving them a stress test. This measures how well the body responds to walking on a treadmill. Fitness is important because these types of exercises strengthen your heart and lungs, allowing your body to process oxygen better and lowering your risk of heart disease.
Fitness is the key to achieving and maintaining a healthy heart. Here are some tips to accomplish this:
- The time is now! Eat right, exercise, kick the bad habits that aren’t good for your heart. You know that you should do it, so why not start now.
- Make sure you are getting enough excercise. 30 minutes of physical activity a day are recommended for a healthy heart.
- Focus on being fit! Your fitness matters just as much as your weight.
- Know your body. If something doesn’t seem right during or after your physical activity be sure to contact your doctor ASAP!
- Visit your dentist. Oral health is another indicator of heart health.