BMI, the NFL and You

At the end August 2005, Thomas Herrion, a lineman for the San Francisco 49ers died after a preseason NFL football game. He was 23 years old and 330 pounds. His Body Mass Index (normally below 30 or so for athletes) was 41. He was morbidly obese. The doctors say that arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) was the probable cause of his death.

I'm a football fan, so I watch the game all the time. For those of you who don't and only watch the Superbowl at a friend's party, it is not difficult to confirm that most NFL linemen are just plain fat.

What's scary is that if someone came to me for training and I measured their BMI and it was anywhere close to Herrion's, I would prescribe no more than 20-30 minutes of walking a day to start. Even if he was an NFL player. I would not even suggest he play in a pickup game of flag football. Regardless of how "fit" someone may be underneath their fat they are still carrying extra weight, fatty acids and probably excess glucose.

There's another sport where you'll find similar levels of obesity and here is the prognosis for those athletes as well from and article by Dr. Eric S. Freedland,

"Japanese sumo wrestlers are a good example of how exercise can only do so much for so long to offset the harmful effects of obesity. Competitive sumos carry most of their abdominal fat subcutaneously with relatively little visceral fat (which is more strongly associated with insulin resistance). They are able to maintain insulin sensitivity until after they retire when they develop large amounts of abdominal visceral fat, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and premature death."

Now let's step away from athletes for a moment. I've only used them to make a point.

Do you know how much extra weight you are carrying? You could be in worse condition than some of these athletes because you do less activity than they do. If your BMI is around 30-35 and you don't do any physical activity, your health is being compromised tremendously. You practically have the same prognosis as the Sumo Wrestlers without the "after retirement." All those diseases and instances have started already and it is up to you to start working out to reverse them.

This might be the most incredible thing about exercise... you can reverse the decline of your health!

How can you calculate BMI? For someone who is not mathematically inclined, you can do this at our site! I've just added a page with a calculator and I think you should consider finding out just what your BMI is, because it can give you an idea of what you may need to do to help keep cardiovascular disease and other nasty aliments at bay.

If you find your BMI is over 30, do yourself a favor and consider going for a walk tonight. Just 20 minutes or so. Don't get too crazy. When you're walking think about how good it feels to be outside. Think about how the breeze brushes against your face and how the sounds of nature call to you.

When you get back, sit down and take a moment to scan your body and see how good it feels to get your heart moving and your body jump started.

After you do this for a few nights, I know you'll begin to enjoy it. Make it a habit and the quality of your life will dramatically increase. You'll have more energy, be more productive and be able to spend more time doing the things you want to do because you'll have a clearer mind!

So go calculate your BMI and see where you stand.

Then regardless of the numbers, take a walk tonight anyway and enjoy the weather!

About the Author

Kevin Gianni is the holistic fitness expert. He is a holistic personal trainer and co-founder of Lifestyle Fitness, a home workout program that gives you the tools to radically change your views on health and fitness for the rest of your life.

Kevin Gianni