Women's Healthy BMI

Discover The Five Habits You Should Adopt For A Longer, Healthier Life.

What Is A Healthy BMI for a Woman?

When you ask the question, “what is a healthy BMI for a woman?”, the answer is the same as if you asked “what is a healthy BMI for any adult?”
BMI is a measurement based on the ratio of your height and weight. The BMI calculation is the same for men and women, and is used to determine which risk category for certain chronic diseases that you fall into, ie. the greater your BMI the higher your risk is for the development of these diseases.
BMI will determine whether you fall into the following categories: underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.

Underweight and severely obese (where the BMI is under 18 or over 40 respectively), are conditions which require medical advice and treatment and are not addressed in this article.

Here you will see that your own health is intertwined with the nation’s health, that the average american woman is not necessarily healthy, but that there are ways in which you can “buck the trend” if you should wish to do so.
You’ll discover here that there are 5 major factors apart from genetics, that will determine your chances of living a longer, healthier life.

5 Healthy Habits For A longer Life

It is a sad fact that Americans do not live as long as people in most other high income countries. Most people in the United States don’t eat a healthy diet and consume too much sodium, saturated fat, and sugar, increasing their risk of chronic diseases.

Heart disease and cancer are two of the most common preventable chronic diseases in the United States. Unhealthy lifestyles are increasing the incidence of these, and other chronic diseases that are leading to many early deaths in the U.S.

Chronic diseases are defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit daily activities (or both).
Most of these diseases are caused by a short list of risk behaviours.

Research supported by The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which was published in 2018, identified 5 specific healthy habits, each of which on it’s own, significantly lowered the risk of death from chronic disease, and when combined, increased the lifespan of the female study subjects by an average of 14 years!

The study, by The Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health, found that women who did not adopt any of the 5 specific healthy habits from the age of 50, lived on average to 79 years.

In stark contrast, women who adopted all five healthy lifestyle habits from the same age, lived on average to 93 years!

"This study underscores the importance of following healthy lifestyle habits for improving longevity in the U.S. population. Unfortunately, adherence to healthy lifestyle habits in the United States is very low."
man in white dress shirt holding white card
Dr Frank Hu
T.H.Chan School of Public Health

What are the 5 healthy habits?

These are the five habits that improved the lifespan (and no-doubt the quality of life) of the participants who adopted them: 

  • Maintain a healthy eating pattern.
  • Maintain a normal weight.
  • Exercise 3.5 hours per week.
  • Drink only moderate amounts of alcohol.
  • Do not smoke.

Let’s examine these in more detail.


Maintain a healthy eating pattern.

Healthy eating emphasises fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and protein.
Most people in the U.S. need to adjust their eating patterns to increase their intake of dietary fiber, calcium, vitamin D, and potassium.
At the same time, we need to consume less added sugar, saturated fat, and salt.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 pdf

Maintain a normal weight.

Managing your weight contributes to good health now and as you age.
People who are overweight or have obesity, compared to those with a healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions.
Find out if you are at a healthy weight with the body mass index calculator and your waist measurement.


Exercise 3.5 hours per week.

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.

Government recommendations are 150 minutes ( 2 hours 30 minutes) of moderate intensity aerobic activity (cardio) each week (for example brisk walking), and on 2 days a week, muscle strengthening activities that work all the major muscle groups (such as  lifting weights or using resistance bands).

Cardio is good, it works by raising your heart rate which fires up your metabolism to burn calories. Burning calories in turn burns fat.
This is fine if you want to maintain a specific weight, but if you want to lose a significant amount of weight, more excercise may be necessary!
It’s going to be difficult for most people to find the time to do this, which is why, no matter the initial intentions, most exercise regimes fizzle out after a while because of time constraints.

What if there was a program that raised your metabolism to burn fat in as little as 15 minutes a day? A simple, effective program that didn’t leave you feeling exhausted and that had the added bonus of increasing your flexibility and mobility.

There is such a program, and it uses stretching to-burn fat like you’ve never seen before – it’s called metabolic stretching – Try It Here.

Drink only moderate amounts of alcohol.

Most alcohol programs focus on you stopping drinking completely, but what if you just want to be in control of your drinking whilst still being able to enjoy an occasional  glass of wine with friends?
Stopping completely isn’t realistic for most people, so they’re doing this instead…
Get the simple tools you need to be in total control of your drinking.


Dr Karen Viera