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The BMI Scale, BPM and Blood Pressure

Updated: Dec 27, 2022

The BMI scale.... a very sore subject of mine!

A lot of us when we worry about weight loss panic about our BMI, especially if we get annual check ups at the doctors!

Well last year was the first year I finally got a nurse to admit it was a load of rubbish! The BMI scale was invented in the 1830's when as you can agree the times were COMPLETELY different to what they are now! The BMI scale was derived from a simple maths formula by Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, a Belgian astronomer, mathematician, statistician and sociologist. The aim of the BMI scale is to estimate whether a person has a healthy weight by dividing their weight in kilograms (kg) by their height in meters squared.

Let us take body builders as an example... to body build you have to bulk up which means gaining weight before turning this into muscle! Body builders are 9/10 overweight/obese in the BMI scale however they aren't obese, but technically they are on the BMI scale! Mad isn't it!!

Here is the BMI scale from the NHS website

From this BMI scale I am technically overweight... which is hilarious when I teach 13 classes a week! This made me think... lets do some tests! I grabbed one of the Blood Pressure monitors from the house and I tested myself... here are the results...

So to say I am overweight, my blood pressure is IDEAL...

Your IDEAL blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.

HIGH blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher

High blood pressure is often related to unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol, being overweight and not exercising enough.When it is left untreated, high blood pressure can increase your risk of developing a number of serious long-term health conditions, such as coronary heart disease and kidney disease.

LOW blood pressure is considered to be 90/60mmHg or lower

Low blood pressure is less common. Some medications can cause low blood pressure as a side effect. It can also be caused by a number of underlying conditions, including heart failure and dehydration.

If we then look at the heart rate on the results from earlier, it shows that mine is 56bpm, which if you look at the chart above shows that I am in the athlete bracket... again how would this possibly work if I'm classed as overweight?

Has this made you interested in finding our your own BPM?

You can find your pulse in your wrist or neck.

To find your pulse in your wrist:

  • hold out one of your hands, with your palm facing upwards  

  • press the first (index) finger and middle finger of your other hand on the inside of your wrist, at the base of your thumb – don't use your thumb as it has its own pulse 

  • press your skin lightly until you can feel your pulse – if you can't find it, try pressing a little harder or move your fingers around

To find your pulse in your neck:

  • press your first finger and middle finger to the side of your neck, just under your jaw and beside your windpipe – don't use your thumb 

  • press your skin lightly to feel your pulse – if you can't find it, try pressing a bit harder or move your fingers around

When you find your pulse, either:

  • count the number of beats you feel for 60 seconds

  • count the number for 30 seconds and multiply by 2

This gives you your heart rate – the number of times your heart beats per minute (bpm).

You can also check if your pulse is regular or irregular by feeling its rhythm for about 30 seconds. It's very common to have occasional irregular heartbeats, such as missed beats but if your pulse continues to be irregular, it can be a sign of atrial fibrillation which is an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. This is more likely if you're 65 or older.

What is a normal heart rate?

Most adults have a resting heart rate between 60 and 100bpm.

The fitter you are, the lower your resting heart rate is likely to be. For example, athletes may have a resting heart rate of 40 to 60bpm, or lower.

See a GP to get checked if you think your heart rate is continuously above 120bpm or below 40bpm, although it may simply be that this is normal for you.

So after all of the above... you can make your own decision on the BMI scale... do you think it is accurate anymore? Let me know your thoughts!

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