It’s Shape Not Weight!
The leading physical indicator of good health and an attractive appearance is your body’s ratio of fat to muscle. As a fitness professinal, I find that this fitness concept is both the most important and difficult to teach. I see many people grow frustrated enough to abandon exercise programs because the scale isn’t showing “enough” weight-loss, even as their waists shrink and their clothes begin to fit better. I believe that for you to develop the self-worth to achieve lasting fitness goals, it all starts with a new understanding of what it means to be “in shape.” And that understanding isn’t found on the readout of a scale.
Let’s begin by calculating your figure. Using a flexible measuring tape, measure around your waist at its thinnest point (just above the navel) and around your hips at their broadest point. Dividing the hip measurement into the waist measurement determines your waist to hip ratio. A proportion of around 0.7 for premenopausal women is a healthy long-term goal. So put that scale in the closet and forget about it for a while. It’s time to start working on your figure.
“Knowledge is power!”
–Sir Francis Bacon
HIP-WAIST RATIO BEST PREDICTS HEART RISK
London, (AP) – Well-toned hips and a trim waist-not just the pounds you carry-appear to be one of the best protections against heart attacks, according to a study of thousands of people in different countries.
Researchers reported in Friday’s issue of The Lancet medical journal that a hip-to-waist ratio is a better predictor of the risk of heart attack for a variety of ethnic groups than body mass index, the current standard.
Based on weight and height, the body-mass index takes no notice of where fat is or how muscular a person is, said Dr. Arya Sharma, professor of medicine at McMaster University and co-author of the study. An athlete and a couch potato could have similar BMI scores, he noted.
“Irrespective of your BMI, your waist-hip ratio is important.”
Previous reseach has shown that having a potbelly is a better predictor of heart trouble than weight, but most of those studies focused on Europeans or North Americans.
The Interheart study, directed by Salim Yusuf of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, drew on data from 27,098 people in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, including 12,461 who had suffered a heart attack.
In the new study, the risk of heart attack rose progressively as the ratio of waist size increased on proportion to hip circumference. The 20 percent of the survey who had the highest ratio were 2.5 times more at risk than the 20 percent with the lowest ratio, the study found.