You cannot predict someone’s health just by looking at them.
Many thin people are not as healthy or as strong as someone heavier.
As measured by body mass index (BMI), some people are overweight, despite being extremely active and otherwise healthy. For example, I am 5′ 7”, just under 13 stone, and have a BMI of 28 – meaning I am overweight. Although this takes into account my (general) activity level, it doesn’t account for my frame or waist circumference. I’m advised to lose 9lbs or 5% body weight! That 9lbs is muscle mass not fat mass.
The best measure of a person’s health comes from their medical professional and screening tests – as long as your medical profile says you are healthy, it is more important how you feel than how you look.
Appearance is Fleeting
A healthy lifestyle is not equivalent to losing weight. It is a longstanding perception that conflates appearance and health.
Historically, larger bodies were idealised because they signified wealth and security.
Contemporary research suggests that ideal body size gets smaller as women gain higher levels of education, which is likely attributed to a socioeconomic position that allows them to put aside worries about survival.
Weight is not Always Controllable
People can not always easily control how they look or what they weigh. Some determinants are genetic, while others are the result of medication, for example insulin or steroids.
People can naturally gain weight as they age. Even what we think of as lifestyle choices are not always controllable – too little sleep and too much stress contribute to weight gain.
Exercise is a Critical Health Influencer
People need to have health goals and receive feedback about progress. Healthcare outreach programmes can establish baseline records and counselling to set targets for health indicators.
It takes discipline to make good choices regarding your health. Each one of these small choices adds up over time to make real change. Exercise provides stress relief, adds muscle tone, and boosts your cardiovascular health, among many other benefits.
Track Key Indicators other than Weight
Fitness trackers can be important tools for living a healthy lifestyle because they track your efforts and measure the effects over time.
Wearable trackers evolved from being fancy watches and, seemingly each year, continue to get better at tracking health indicators.
Far from just counting steps, these high-tech tools can provide insight into your fertility, sun exposure, sleep time,and more. Studies demonstrate that fitness trackers can be effective at improving physical activity. Up to 81% of people who use a tracker exercise more, 40% improve their nutrition intake, and 24% sleep better.
Workout Buddies hold you Accountable
It is widely accepted that having a partner who is willing to hold you accountable is an effective health strategy.
When tempted to cheat or skip a workout, having someone waiting for you is an excellent way to motivate you to make good choices.
Whether this support is in the form of a professional fitness trainer or just a buddy who meets you at the gym, either one is better than attempting to get fit on your own.
Get Outside and Support Each Other
The standards by which we judge someone healthy change over time.
But, health should never be based simply on what you weigh.
Your medical professional is the best resource for discovering the status of your health.
Challenge your body to see what it can do, give it the best possible fuel, and measure progress in factors other than weight.
Work with a partner to stay motivated and eliminate unhealthy habits.