By Meagan Cramer on August 14, 2020
A healthy lifestyle can look different for each person and is dependent on a variety of factors including diet, exercise and family history. There are a few ways you can evaluate your health and measure yourself for possible risk areas.
A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Your doctor may look at your body mass index (BMI) to see if you’re at risk for things like heart disease or type 2 diabetes. BMI is an estimation of body fat based on a person’s weight and height. To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared, and multiply the result by 703 (or just use an online BMI calculator). That number tells you where you sit on the weight spectrum.
For example, a person who is 5’7” and weighs 155 pounds would have a BMI of 24.2.
Underweight = BMI <18.5
Normal weight = BMI 18.5–24.9
Overweight = BMI 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
Another way to measure your health is by checking your waist circumference. According to the National Institutes of Health, if most of your fat is around your waist rather than at your hips, you’re at a higher risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This risk goes up with a waist size that is greater than 35 inches for women or greater than 40 inches for men. To correctly measure your waist, stand and place a tape measure around your middle, just above your hipbones. Measure your waist just after you breathe out.
OTHER WAYS TO MEASURE
There are, of course, other ways you can evaluate your health. Ask yourself questions like:
- Are you able to keep up with family and friends?
- How are your energy levels?
- When you have check-ups with your doctor, what feedback are you receiving?
- How is your mental state?
- Are you eating and sleeping well?
Members who have healthcare through Kansas Farm Bureau Health Plans have access to Live Better. Live Better is an online tool with focus areas to help our members be more active, manage stress and improve their diet. This tool is included in all the traditional plans. To learn more, contact your local Farm Bureau Services Agent or visit www.kfbhealthplans.com.