Maintaining a healthy weight can help your joints and ease arthritis pain.

BMI stands for body mass index, an estimate of your body fat based on your weight and height. BMI is a more reliable indicator of body fat than weight. Knowing your BMI can help you and your doctor determine if you’re at a healthy weight. Generally a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy. If you’re older than 65, it may be better to have a BMI between 25 and 27.

Maintaining a healthy weight, or normal weight, can benefit joints already affected by arthritis. One pound of weight puts an additional 4 pounds of pressure on your knees! Therefore, you can reduce joint pain by shedding pounds, even as little as 10 percent of your total body weight. Doing so can also decrease your risk of developing arthritis in joints not already affected, and lower the chances that you’ll need a joint replacement. Even though there are many diets and exercise programs out there, the simplest way to lose weight is to eat less and move more. If you need help getting moving, talk to a personal trainer to design a program to fit your specific needs, contact local gyms for a free trial, or look for community programs in senior centers, churches, etc.

BMI is frequently used as an indicator for how body weight affects health. A normal-weight BMI reduces risk for a number of health problems, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Low good cholesterol or high bad cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

While BMI is useful, it’s just one of many factors that influence your overall health. Your cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels, whether you smoke, your diet and your current level of physical activity all play a role.
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.
By: Janet Hunt

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