Since we have been told all our lives that one indicator of health status is body weight, we have ended up being somewhat obsessed with it. While it is true that in a great many cases-especially the more extreme ones-a body weight beyond the norm, one way or another-indicates a state of health that could affect our longevity, it is also true that we rely on a not very precise index to define it.
Ever heard of BMI, or Body Mass Index?
You can easily calculate it with the formula:
weight (kg) / stature² (m)
However, if I told you that it was Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet who invented it two hundred years ago, you would rightly say, “So what?” But if I told you he was a mathematician and astronomer some doubt would come to you. Which is not to say that it is not a valid indicator, mind you. It only means that it is accurate to a certain extent because, for example, it does not take into account skeletal or muscle mass. And, at the same time, it does not exclude that those who are at a healthy weight do not have other serious diseases, such as diabetes or some cardiovascular problems.
Instead, there are other equally important indicators of your health status. They are not about body weight but other very important factors.
Let’s take a look at them.
Getting little sleep can raise your blood pressure and does not allow your brain to cleanse and rest. Prolonged sleep deprivation can affect the health of your heart and kidneys, as well as other unpleasant conditions. Those who sleep less than five hours per night can suffer serious consequences. If you want to learn more about the importance of sleep read here.
2. Breathing well
And by “breathing” we mean “deep and well.” Can you tell if you are breathing well? Do a simple test: run two flights of stairs or walk at a brisk pace down six blocks. You should be able to do this without any problems.
Here you can also find exercises to learn how to breathe better while running;)
3. Lift you off the ground
“Well, what could it take?” you might think. Wait a minute: you have to do this after sitting cross-legged, and you can’t cheat by leaning in with your hands and giving yourself a push. It’s more difficult now, isn’t it? The exercise seems silly or unremarkable, yet it has proven in studies by physician Claudio Gil Araújo to be an accurate indicator of longevity. Needless to say, you should be able to do this without cheating to make sure you have a long and healthy life.
4. Visual examination of feces
Have you ever checked your stool? As unpalatable as the topic is, a visual stool analysis is a good indicator of your health status. If you want to learn more, here is a table that can help you.
5. Do you feel lonely?
The feeling of loneliness and the inability to feel connection with other people, as well as a complicated or unfulfilling emotional life can lead to mental prostration and, in the long run, shorten your life. Nourishing one’s vital spirit is essential and is also based on the joy of being with other people and the benefits one derives from it. Having a life dense with professional or recreational appointments does not necessarily fulfill a prerogative of human beings, which is to be social animals. One can feel lonely especially in crowded places or at a party. Do you feel connected to other people? Do you feel understood?
Researchers are now convinced: depression can be just as bad as obesity, leading in the long run to shortening your life. If you are not sure if you suffer from it or if you want to do a simple test to figure it out, you can try this test. If you suffer from it, seek expert help, do not be afraid or ashamed, and know that, if you have the strength and will, running can help you greatly in this regard.
Good! What do you think now about BMI? It is not the most accurate test but it can give you an idea of your health status. You also realized that several factors affect it, such as sleep, mental state, the functioning of your digestive system and how you breathe. Adjust all these aspects, run as much as you can, and prepare to live a long life!
(Via Forge – Photo by Marion Michele on Unsplash)