Is your health goal to get thin or to get active? Science suggests it may be best to think more about breaking a sweat than about stepping on the scale. When you stay fit (as opposed to just staying thin), you improve your BMI (body mass index).
In a recent study, being inactive translated into a higher risk of heart disease, regardless of a person's (BMI).
Get Moving BMI (body mass index) is a measure of overall body weight that takes into consideration a person's height. Medical experts have used it as an indicator of body fatness and thus a tool for determining disease risk. But in a recent study, inactive people were in a higher heart-risk category no matter what their BMIs were. Seems their couch-potato ways translated into a disproportionately big waist, irrespective of how much — or how little — they tipped the scales. And a too-big waist means big trouble for the heart.
Having a BMI (body mass index) within a normal range is great, but it's not the be-all and end-all of good health. You can have a normal BMI and still be unhealthy — especially if you don't exercise and stay fit. In the recent study, inactive men had a higher risk of future heart disease compared with active men. Again, this was regardless of BMIs and bathroom scales. Inactive women fared even worse than men when it came to heart disease risk, and it's all because activity affects body proportion. Exercise makes it less likely that your body fat will get stored in the most dangerous place you can store it: around your abdomen.
Having trouble sticking to a walking program? Check out this gallery of good reasons to walk, including tips on how to make it easier and more fun.