No matter your age or body size, there’s incentive to make changes.
“If you’re obese in early adulthood and then get your BMI back to the normal range, you’re more likely to have a normal life expectancy,” Ali said.
Emily Reynolds is a certified fitness nutrition specialist and personal trainer in Oceanside, California.
“As a fitness professional, I have a different take on BMI,” she told Healthline.
“When I was taught how to use BMI, I was working with professional athletes and bodybuilders. According to BMI guidelines, all of these athletes were obese because it doesn’t take into consideration body mass versus muscle mass,” Reynolds said.
So she doesn’t automatically tell exercise beginners to join a gym or get a personal trainer.
“For most people, that’s intimidating. I ask what their favorite exercise is and what they love to do outdoors. Fresh air and a beautiful view are better than a gym or an intimidating environment,” she said. “Go with something you love. Having energized passion behind something will help you stick with it.”
Reynolds notices differences in the way men and women approach exercise.
“If you give direction, men will follow the road map. Sometimes they’ll hire a trainer because they want someone to tell them what to do,” she said.
“With women, if you evoke emotion and let them guide the process, they’re usually more successful,” she said. “They’re more likely to join a class or find support in a group. Almost all women gravitate toward that.”
Young or old, male or female, Reynolds wants people to understand that it’s not just what you eat and how many times a week you exercise. You have to feel good about yourself, too.
“Your body will always tell on you. Every bit, including happiness, matters,” she said.
Ann Pietrangelo is an author, writer, and health care blogger. This article was originally published on Healthline.com