Too high blood pressure, too high BMI and too much belly fat. Being a physiotherapist, these terms do not make me happy, especially when they are mentioned in one sentence. But why exactly?

Your BMI, blood pressure and belly fat together determine (combined with a few other factors) the conditions for a good health. They negatively influence each other when values start to get too high. A high BMI combined with too much belly fat increases the chance of a high blood pressure. And a high blood pressure increases the chance of heart and vascular diseases, especially combined with a high BMI. In short: all the more reason to keep your BMI, blood pressure and belly fat on a normal level. I will briefly explain these definitions in the part below:

BMI: Stands for Body Mass Index. This formula enables you to calculate if your weight is proportional to your length. You can easily calculate your BMI at www.bmi.hartstichting.nl. The perfect value usually lies between 19 and 25. Think of your BMI as a guideline, because it doesn’t tell your everything. Other factors are important as well: like your fat percentage, muscle mass and your waist size.

Blood pressure: Your blood pressure is the force of your heart pumping the blood through your vessels. Your blood pressure is measured using two values: systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. The systolic pressure is measured when the heart contracts. When the heart relaxes, the blood pressure is at it’s lowest. The perfect value lies between 120 systolic and 80 diastolic. You can get your blood pressure measured by your physician, but there are also devices available to measure it yourself at home.

Belly fat: Belly fat consists of fat tissue that is located in the abdominal area. Especially the fat that is surrounding your organs does not promote your health. Too much belly fat can lead to a larger chance of diabetes and heart and vascular diseases. You can get your belly fat measured by a physician, but you can also indicate it yourself by measuring your waist size. While you exhale, measure the narrowest part of your waist with a tape measure, between your lowest rib and the top of your hipbone. The perfect value for women lies below 80 centimeters en below 94 centimeters for men.

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