Waist Circumference: Why is it So Important?

The distribution of body fat plays a major roll in terms of your metabolic health. Although BMI is helpful, your Body Mass Index (BMI) says nothing about the distribution of fat in your body. It is your waist circumference which provides valuable information with regards to abdominal obesity.

A high waist circumference is associated with an increased risk for heart disease. It also increases your risk for adult onset diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure too. Waist circumference is a more accurate assessment of an individual’s risk than a body mass index (BMI).

Changes in waist circumference over time can indicate an increase or decrease in abdominal fat. Increased abdominal fat increases one’s risk for heart disease and many other ailments. It affects almost every organ system.

How do you measure your waist circumference?

Measure directly against your skin.
Breathe out normally.
Make sure the tape is snug, without compressing the skin.
Measure halfway between your lowest rib and the top of your hipbone, roughly in line with your belly button.

What should my waist circumference be?

Your waist circumference to be half your height in inches. For example, if you are 5 feet, 10 inches tall, you are 70 inches. Your waist circumference should be 35 inches or less for optimal health. (1/2 your height in inches).

How do I decrease my waist circumference?

You can decrease your waist circumference by eating healthy, participating in aerobic exercise, and losing weight.

The first step to healthy eating is to avoid the processed foods, simple carbohydrates and simple sugars.

The best exercise to reduce waist circumference is a good aerobic workout. Examples include: fast walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, hiking, aerobic class such as kickboxing, jazzercise, etc.

Remember, your BMI should only be one of many tools in your box of health assessments. Your waist circumference is another valuable tool with regards to your overall health and wellness.

What does your waist size say about your health?


2 thoughts on “Waist Circumference: Why is it So Important?

  1. Curious of what you thhave no if way st trainers use on a healthy person with an avg waist (25-27) for aesthetics ?
    I am fitness instructor and many ask me … not sure the best answer to respond with. I like he research and knowledge to babk me up. But in. This area I gave none.

    1. Waist trainers are definitely controversial. Personally, I use one for my cardio sessions only. Many swear by them but, just like corsets, they can cause some problems if used in excess. So, to answer your question: yes, they do help with trimming the waist (aesthetic appearance) but they should not be worn for extended periods of time. In addition to this, waist trainers can provide some support for the lower back (if the person has a weak core). I hope this helps.

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