Is your weight what it should be?

How do I find out if I am the correct weight for my height, age, and activity level?

First of all it is important when using standard measurements to remember that they are guidelines, not exact measurements that need to be followed to a T. So if a woman is two or three pounds over or under the standard weight for her height she doesn't need to rush out and lose the weight. Keep in mind that everyone's weight fluctuates a small amount everyday and a woman's weight also will fluctuate with her menstrual cycle. So weight is most accurately measured if it is averaged over several days. The assessment of ideal weight should always take into consideration how much of a woman's body weight is fat and how much of it is muscle. It is far more important that a woman maintain a healthy percentage of body fat than a particular weight. Body fat can be measured by several methods ranging from underwater weighing to calipers. For most people this kind of accurate measurement is not necessary. It is just important to keep in mind that lowering your body fat through exercise is much more essential to your health than simply weighing yourself.

The amount of exercise a woman does will not change her ideal weight, it just changes the amount of calories she needs to consume in order to maintain that weight. For instance a woman who works out everyday needs to consume more calories to maintain her ideal weight than a woman who does not exercise. And a woman with less body fat dramatically decreases her risk of heart disease and diabetes.

The most frequently used and most accurate measurement of ideal weight range is the BMI (body mass index). The BMI measures a person's weight in relationship to their height. Athletes and bodybuilders will not get a very accurate reading from the BMI as their percentage of body fat is usually much lower than standard. BMI is calculated by taking a woman's weight in kilograms divided by her height in meters squared, kg/m2. There are sites on the WWW where you can have this calculation done for you automatically. A healthy range for women is 19-25, 25-30 is slightly overweight with an increased risk of heart disease, and 30 and above is an indication of obesity. If a woman's BMI falls into this last range she should see a doctor for some assistance in managing her weight, as obesity brings serious health risks.

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