Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. BMI is currently the most widely used body weight diagnostic tool. The Body mass index is defined as the your body weight divided by the square of your height. The formulas is expressed as kg/m2. The excess weight or deficiency may, in part, be accounted for by body fat although other factors such as muscularity also affect BMI. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

BMI Key (National Norms)

Classification Men Women
Normal (Healthy/low risk) 24 - 27 23 - 26
Moderately obese (Moderate risk) 28 - 31 27 - 32
Severely obese (High risk) >31 >32

Data from The Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health (1988) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 284.

Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire

For most people, physical activity should not pose a hazard. If you're unsure, PAR-Q can help identify whether you are someone for whom physical activity might be inappropriate, or if you should seek medical advice concerning the type of activity most suitable for you.

  1. Please review the questions below and answer each with a "yes" or "no" response.
  2. Has your doctor ever said that you have a heart condition and that you should only do physical activity recommended by a doctor?
  3. Do you feel pain in your chest when you do physical activity?
  4. In the past month, have you had chest pain when you were not doing physical activity?
  5. Do you lose your balance because of dizziness?
  6. Do you ever lose consciousness?
  7. Do you have a bone or joint problem that could be made worse by a change in your physical activity?
  8. Is your doctor currently prescribing drugs (for example, water pills) for your blood pressure or heart condition?
  9. Do you know of any other reason why you should not do physical activity?

If you answered YES to any of these questions... Talk to your doctor by phone or in person BEFORE you start becoming more physically active. Tell your doctor about the PAR-Q and which questions you answered YES.

If you answered NO to ALL questions... If you answered PAR-Q accurately, you have reasonable assurance of your present suitability for additional physical activity.

More suggestions for burning more calories while walking:

Source: Hope Health Letter, June 2008 from Walking Magazine's Complete Guide to Walking for Health, Weight Loss, and Fitness, by Mark Fenton, former member and coach of the U.S. national racewalking team.

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