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Redefining Fitness: Beyond BMI and Weight Loss

A change in the fitness industry's perspective: Moving away from BMI and weight as primary health indicators, focusing on strength, speed, endurance, and lifestyle habits.

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BNN Correspondents
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Redefining Fitness: Beyond BMI and Weight Loss

There's a paradigm shift unfolding in the world of fitness and health. An outdated perspective that has long held sway, using Body Mass Index (BMI) and weight as primary indicators of health and fitness, is being reconsidered. Fitness coaches and health experts globally are challenging the reliability of BMI as a health measure, echoing a growing consensus that weight loss, often a common aspiration for gym novices, is not the pinnacle of fitness.

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Weight Loss: A Dangerous Obsession?

The fixation with weight loss is a construct influenced by societal pressure and media's portrayal of ideal body shapes. This obsession can spiral into serious health issues, spanning eating disorders and mental health problems. Fitness professionals like Abraar Khan Waryah and Spoorthi S. caution against this weight-focused approach. They argue that it can be perilous, advocating for a holistic approach to fitness that encompasses appropriate nutrition and exercise.

Shifting the Paradigm: Holistic Fitness

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According to these experts, aspects such as strength, speed, endurance, and overall lifestyle habits bear greater weight as indicators of health. The fitness landscape is witnessing some sports teams and federations ceasing to weigh athletes, pivoting instead to these more relevant metrics. This shift signifies the industry's growing recognition of the limitations and inaccuracies of BMI.

The Role of a Coach: Beyond Just Training

A coach's role extends beyond just training. It involves holistic support, setting achievable goals, and fostering a positive relationship with food and exercise. Shrenik Avlani, co-author of a book on functional fitness, underscores that health and fitness should not be solely about aesthetics. Instead, the focus should be on holistic well-being, heralding the need for a more personalized and comprehensive approach to health and fitness.

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