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How Do You Know if You are Healthy or Not?

July 02 2008

How do you know you if could end up with diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, certain cancers, high cholesterol and osteoarthritis? Of course, these diseases are associated with obesity or overweight. But how do you know if you are just overweight or obese or just normal? Can you have a normal weight and still be at risk for the above diseases?

In this article, we will use two simple steps to know if you are healthy or not: Measurement & Assessment.


There are three key measures which indicate you risk of having diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and so on. Let’s look at each.

Body mass index (BMI): BMI is number calculated from your height and weight, which shows if you are normal, overweight or obese.

How to measure BMI? Use the equation below to find your BMI. Or use the table (values are in pounds and inches) to find your weight level or BMI.

calculate BMI

table to calculate BMI

Table. Find your weight at the bottom of the graph. Go straight up from that point until you come to the line that matches your height. Then look to find your weight group.

Waist circumference: Weight is not the only risk factor; The location of your fat on our body is another risk factor and even more important that body weight.

How to measure waist circumference? Place a tape measure around your abdomen just above your hip bone. Make sure that the tape is snug, and is parallel to the floor. Exhale, and measure your waist.

how to measure waist circumference

Other risk factors: Besides weight & waist circumference, there are other risk factors too. Do you have any of these risk factors?

high blood pressure (hypertension)
high LDL-cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol)
low HDL-cholesterol (“good” cholesterol)
high triglycerides
high blood glucose (sugar)
family history of premature heart disease
physical inactivity
cigarette smoking


Find your BMI or your weight classification from the table below and read across:

Now, remember that this table above gives only your disease risk relative to your normal body weight.

To find the absolute risk, you have to include the Other risk factors besides BMI & circumference. You have a high absolute risk factor and needs to lose weight and treat your risk factors urgently, if you are:

Obese (BMI > 30).
Overweight (BMI: 25 - 29.9) AND 2 or more risk factors.
Waist Greater than 40in (M) /35 in (F) waist AND have 2 or more risk factors.

Things to remember
  • BMI do not take into account your muscle. So if you are an athlete or have a lot of muscle, BMI will not be accurate.
  • Waist circumference is an independent predictor of disease risk. In some populations (Asian Americans and Asians) and older folks, waist circumference is a better predictor than BMI.
  • You can be at normal body weight, but if you waist circumference is more than the recommended, you are still at risk.

Your BMI, waist circumference and presence of other risk factors determine you risk of getting serious diseases. If you know any of your friends or dear ones who you think can use this article, send it to them.

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Joshua may | Sun August 24, 2008  

just had a question. i am 5’10’ at 150lbs and i am trying to get more muscle but at the same time i am trying to get my cardiovascular system better. i dont smoke or drink. i just recently took on running and i feel good after a run. well it is actually two questions. when i was born i was 2 months premature and i had my left lung collapse and suffered broncial pulmanary disease. never had any asma problems but i wonder if my lungs are weak from that. sometimes it gets hard to breathe and i feel like with my not smoking and pretty much leading a healthy life i get out of breathe quicker than what i should. i feel like i am getting cut short than a regular person when it comes to running and not running out of breathe even in a short mile keeping my pace. i feel like my lungs should keep up more than what they are doing. basically i am wondering if that can effect me now i am 23 years old. are my lungs underdeveloped do i have to work harder than the next guy. is there a test i can do that will tell me if i am in a disadvantage cardiovascular wise? second question is will this hurt me on my quest on getting more muscular because i want to be healthy on the inside and out. any help would be great.thanks

Anoop | Sun August 24, 2008  

I think it is better that you consult your doctor and he can do some tests and see if there is something limiting. And it just could simply mean that you are just running too fast too soon.

And for general health as long you do 2-3 times cardio at a moderate pace and eat right, you will be healthier than 90% of the people around. You dont really have push your limits or anything.

Your lungs will not be limiting for adding muscle mass. Weight training is mostly anerobic ( ie., do not need oxygen). Keep the running to 2 days and you wil be fine with adding muscle. Just keep in mind that the more you run and stuff, the more calories you are burning. So you might have to eat a bit more to compensate it.

Hope that helps.

Sudeep | Mon May 18, 2009  

Hello ,
I am an average BMI and waist circumference , but still i feel really lethargic ... am i healthy still ...
Looking at your criteria i should be healthy .What do you think ?


Anoop | Fri May 22, 2009  

Depends on what you call healthy.

According to the article, if you don’t have some of the chronic diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, cancer and so on, you are pretty healthy.

Unless you have something pathological, most doctors will write you some vitamins and tell you to exercise for being lethargic.

what is a hemroid | Tue September 15, 2009  

Really innovative considerations: measuring Waist circumference as well as BMI. These are also easy to follow. Thanks Exercise Biology!

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