BMI for men, Chart, Calculation, What is healthy and Ideal?

BMI for men, Chart, Calculation, What is healthy and Ideal?

If you’re like a lot of men, you spend a lot of time ensuring that you look your best. You may hit the gym or pound the pavement, but no matter how you work out, you want to look like you work out.

Many men feel that if they look good in (and out of) their clothes, they’re probably pretty healthy. But do you need to work out every single day, lifting and pushing your body, in order to be healthy? What if you just shoot hoops a few days each week, or play racquetball with buddies every now and then?

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • How to determine whether you’re a healthy weight
  • The proper amount of exercise for the average man
  • How you can make sure you’re in the best health possible
  • The ideal BMI for men

Let’s take a look at BMI for men, what it is, and what you can learn by calculating yours.

BMI for Men, No Fuss

If you’re a man who likes to weigh yourself daily and count calories before each meal, you’re in the minority. In fact, most men like to take a simple, no fuss approach to working out and looking good.

There are men, of course, who hit the gym every day. Their diet consists of clean foods, rich in fiber and protein. They abstain from, or limit, alcohol, tobacco and drugs. And to these men, weight’s nothing but a number – the true measure of health is how defined their muscles are.

On the other end of the spectrum is the man who couldn’t care less about how many calories he’s consuming. Beer is a Friday night given, and the closest he’ll get to the gym is when he drops his kids off at basketball practice. This man might not look overweight, but he’s generally less healthy than his weight-lifting counterparts.

Most men fall somewhere in the middle. Perhaps this is you! You’ll visit the gym a few times each week, or you’ll go for a jog with your wife each morning. Working out and counting calories aren’t compulsory, but you do try to eat as well as possible and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Enter BMI.

You can be somewhere in the center of this spectrum and still have a generally good idea of your overall health. How? Simply by calculating your body mass index.

The BMI Chart for Men

The BMI chart men use is the same as the BMI chart women use. Body mass index, if you’re not familiar, is a simple formula that can tell you (and your doctors) what kind of health you’re in. Here’s how you do it – it’s simple.

First, take your weight in kilograms. Then, divide that by your height in meters. Then, divide that answer by your height in meters again. The answer is your BMI.

So what does BMI tell you? Well, if your body mass index is lower than 18.5, you’re underweight and could stand to put on a few pounds. Talk to your doc about whether this weight should be fat or muscle, as both will mean different things for your health.

If your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, you’re in good shape! Your range is considered healthy, and you’re at a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and other conditions that can cause serious health risks.

If your answer is between 25 and 29.9, doctors consider you to be overweight. Your physician will probably give you a few tips to help you drop a few pounds.

When your body mass index reaches 30, that means you’re considered obese. It’s time to rethink some of your dietary and lifestyle choices and opt instead for a healthier way of life.

As you can see, a healthy BMI men should strive for is between 18.5 and 24.9. This is considered normal. However, it’s not necessarily considered average. Let’s take a look.

Do Men Usually Have Healthy BMI?

Men do not usually have healthy BMI. In the United States, the average BMI for adult men is 26.6. The average in the UK is around 28.7 for men between 35 to 44 years old. In Japan? Men average a BMI of around 24!

So you can clearly see that while a range of 18.5 to 24.9 is healthy, men usually don’t fall into that range. Body mass index has a lot to do with where on the planet a man lives, the typical diet he consumes and much, much more.

There’s something else you need to take into consideration when you calculate your BMI. That’s this: muscle is denser than fat. In other words, muscle weighs more than fat. If you’re a hard core athlete who’s 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, you’re going to have the same BMI as a couch potato with the same height and weight. Obviously, though, you’re healthier than that couch potato, right?

If you have questions about your body mass index, or whether you’re in a healthy weight range, talk with your doctor! Together you can examine the lifestyle you live, and determine if any changes are necessary.

What is the Ideal BMI for Men?

The ideal body mass index for men is in the 18.5 to 24.9 range. Men who fall within this range enjoy some great health benefits.

First of all, men who fall in a healthy BMI range are less likely to experience heart trouble. Heart trouble includes heart attack and heart failure. Secondary benefits are lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of stroke.

Men who are in a healthy BMI range are also less likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, or adult onset diabetes, is the disease that results when your body doesn’t use insulin the right way. High blood sugar is just one of the symptoms of diabetes. Other side effects include tingling or loss of feeling in the extremities, which can lead to amputation or gangrene, diabetic coma and, of course, death.

A healthy BMI lowers your risk of depression, psychological disorders and even suicide. People who are within a healthy BMI range are more active and, as a result, are happier. This is just science – increased activity reduces stress and assists the release of endorphins, the body’s “feel good” hormones.

Finally, a healthy BMI goes the other way, too. If you’re underweight, you’re at risk for disease like anemia, malnutrition and osteoporosis. Maintaining a healthy body mass index can reduce your risk of these conditions.

Average BMI for Men: Are You in the Zone?

Now that you know how to calculate your BMI, it’s easy for you to determine whether you’re in a healthy range. Of course, we already noted that the average BMI isn’t necessarily a healthy BMI.

Instead of striving to weigh in at a BMI that’s comparable to other men, strive instead to weigh in at a BMI that’s within the healthy weight range. Keeping your body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9 is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re in good health, and that you remain that way.

If you’re not, it’s time to make some changes. We already recommended that if you fall outside of the healthy range for body mass index, you chat with your physician. An unhealthy body mass index could be indicative of a dietary problem, an activity level that’s too low, or even a hormonal problem!

Keeping Your Body Mass Index in the Healthy Range

Let’s talk a little more in depth about the lifestyle you choose to lead, and the spectrum we mentioned earlier.

Earlier in this article, we talked about a man who is 6 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds. That is by no means an uncommon set of measurements for someone who lifts, or is extremely active. Think about the average football player. The average American linebacker weighs 245 pounds! That’s a lot of weight!

Of course, that linebacker is getting more physical activity during one game than most men get in a week. That said, a linebacker who’s 6 feet, 2 inches tall (the average linebacker height) and 245 pounds is considered obese, with a BMI of 31.5.

There’s a good chance you’re not a linebacker in the NFL. In fact, as there are only about 1,700 NFL players on the planet, it’s safe to assume you’re not in the NFL at all. There’s a good chance you’re a mechanic, or an accountant or even a high school history teacher.

If that’s the case, and you happen to be 6 feet, 2 inches tall, there’s a very good probability that 245 is not a healthy weight for you. That weight is likely more fat than muscle, and it’s best to take steps to improve your lifestyle.

If you’re a weightlifter, though, your healthy BMI range may vary a bit. Once again, talk to your doctor and discuss what you can do to keep your body mass index in a healthy range.

Tips for Men’s Healthy BMI

The nuts and bolts of a healthy BMI comes down to ensuring that your weight is proportionate to your height. With that said, there are things you can do to keep your weight in a healthy range – and these things don’t even include dieting! Here are a few tips.

1.   Exercise, but don’t overthink it

Most doctors (and government organizations) recommend that you exercise for 150 minutes each week. That’s just moderate intensity, like power walking or swimming laps. If you want to start a high intensity workout like running, you’ll just need 75 minutes each week to get the same benefit.

A healthy exercise routine doesn’t have to mean an hour at the gym every day. Simply walking a few laps around the mall on Saturday morning while your wife shops for shoes is plenty for the day. One half hour, five times each week is enough to keep you in ship shape.

2. Sleep well

Studies show that the better you sleep, the healthier your weight will be. Your BMI is directly linked to getting a full 8 hours (7 for some adults) of sleep every night, so get to bed on time!

If you have trouble sleeping, you can talk to your doctor. There may be natural remedies for insomnia. In the most extreme cases, your doctor can prescribe you something to help you sleep at night.

3. Save the alcohol for special occasions

Alcohol is filled with empty calories, if that makes sense. In other words, you contribute nothing to your overall well being and to your body mass index when you consume alcohol in excess. And while there’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine now and then, that six pack of beer you polished off last Sunday is another story.

It’s not just the empty calories, either. Alcohol is actually proven to slow down your metabolic processes. Plus, drinking can often lead to the “munchies,” meaning you’ve consumed even more calories. For the best BMI, keep the alcohol to a minimum.

Final Thoughts

BMI for men is no different than BMI for women. However, men’s body image is largely different from that of a woman’s. Therefore, some men may be less inclined to consider themselves overweight… after all, they look good, right?

Knowing your BMI can help you stay within a weight range that’s compatible with good health. Just a few simple changes to your lifestyle could mean the difference between poor and good health.


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