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Many people base their health and physical well being on their body mass index.  Although this measurement can help you to see if you are overweight, average or underweight and help you to track your progress towards a weight loss or fitness goal the B.M.I. can be misleading and inaccurate.  If you want a more accurate measurement, that is just as easy to obtain, if not easier, use your waist/hip ratio.  This measurement takes into account your body size and proportions, which have been found to be a more precise predictor of obesity than a B.M.I., and therefore a way to assess your fitness and health levels.  To obtain this measurement simply measure your waist with fabric measuring tape, preferably a spring loaded one, but if one is not available a standard fabric measuring tape will work.  Measure your waist circumference by locating the smallest area below your bottom rib and above your hip bone.  Wrap the tape around without pulling so tight as to compress any subcutaneous fat layers.  Get this reading in inches and move onto your hips by measuring around the widest area below your hip bone.  Again record this measurement in inches.  As a note, if you can not find your narrowest measurement for your waist use your belly button as a measuring point.  Take your waist measurement and divide it by your hip measurement and compare to the chart below to see how you rank.   


For example:

waist = 28 inches

hips= 36 inches

28/36= .77777 or a waist to hip ratio of 0.78, which would fall into the excellent category for males.



If you have any questions or comments please visit my website: www.elevationathletics.org

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