Woman sits to tie her workout shoes.
January 19, 2016 | by The Polyclinic

How do I calculate my BMI?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated using height and weight. BMI categories:

  • Underweight = <18.5
  • Normal Weight = 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight = 25-29.9
  • Obesity ≥ 30

Why is BMI important to know? BMI is a calculation to determine body fat. It can be one factor that your doctor uses to help assess your overall fitness and health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle goes a long way in preventing diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Be sure and talk with your health care provider about any family history of diabetes, blood pressure or cholesterol.


What is my goal blood pressure?

  • Optimal blood pressure is <120/80.
  • For people with heart disease or diabetes, the recommended goal is <130/80.
  • Each 20mmHg increase in the top number doubles the risk of dying from a heart attack.
  • What are my goal cholesterol levels?

  • Optimal total cholesterol goal is <200.
  • Bad cholesterol (LDL) goal is <70-130 depending on risk factors for heart disease.
  • Good cholesterol (HDL) goal is >40 for men and >50 for women.
  • Triglyceride (fatty lipids) goal is <150.
  • Optimize cholesterol levels: eat a high fiber, lower fat diet and increase physical activity.

    How much exercise is recommended?

    Daily activity has been shown to lower blood pressure, blood sugar, improve cholesterol and release stress.

  • 15-20 minutes of daily walking is shown to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
  • How many steps a day should I be walking?

  • 30 minutes of daily activity, or 10,000 steps a day, will provide for an active lifestyle.
  • Note: The average person naturally walks about 2,000 steps, or one mile, per day.

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