Does your body shape really matter that much? According to many doctors, the answer is that it does. In fact, some in the medical community are convinced that your waistline is a reflection of your health. Typically, when you go to a fitness trainer or the doctor they’ll often take a body mass index (BMI) measurement as a way of deciding if you’re at a healthy weight. The problem is, your BMI doesn’t tell the whole story.
Sure, a BMI may show that you’re carrying extra fat, but what really seems to count is where your body stores that fat. Let me explain. Body fat especially in areas such as the arms and thighs may not be very pretty; it may not be nearly as much of a health concern as lots of spare fat stored around the abdomen. You see having a large amount of tummy fat makes you more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.
Have you ever noticed that some people are shaped more like pears while others are shaped like apples? Obviously people with pear shape bodies tend to store most of it on their bottom and thighs thus creating a pear shape. While people with apple shapes tend to carry most of their weight around the abdomen. Though neither shape is desirable to most, the pear shape tends to be the healthier of the two. And this is why your body shape matters.
But regardless of your shape, losing weight brings with it great rewards. And that’s why it makes sense to eat a sensible diet, avoid poor food choices and engage in consistent exercise that fits your personality. So the next step you’ll want to do is to determine your BMI and figure out what kind of body shape you have. It may not be readily apparent whether you’re a pear or apple shape but the tale of the tape will explain everything. What follows are instructions on how to determine your body shape.
Measure your waist
To find your proper waist measurment, feel for your hip bone on one side of your body. Move upwards until you can feel the bones of your bottom rib. Halfway between is your waist. For most people this is where their belly button is. It may help to use a mirror when doing this.
- For women:
- Ideal: less than 80cm (32”).
- High: 80cm to 88cm (32” to 35”).
- Very high: more than 88cm (35”).
- For men:
- Ideal: less than 94cm (37”).
- High: 94cm to 102cm (37” to 40”).
- Very high: more than 102cm (40”).
How to calculate your waist-to-hip ratio
Figuring out the risk to your health is simple. Using a tape measure:
- Measure your hips
- Measure your waist
- Divide the waist number by the hip number
A ratio of 1.0 or more in men or 0.85 or more in women indicates that you are carrying too much weight around your middle. This puts you at increased risk of diseases that are linked to obsesity, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.