Photo courtesy of Hard Pressed of Chicago
Body Mass Index commonly referred to as BMI is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. There are many BMI calculators on the internet. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most of the population. However, there are many lean athletes and strength training enthusiasts that are heavily muscled whose BMI's are high yet still are very lean. There is also a population of people who naturally do not fit within the calculated index.
None the less we are faced with the reality that obesity is epidemic and is a risk factor for many chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, depression, and neurodegenerative disease. And we are now understanding that increased adiposity or fatness is associated with decreased brain metabolism and cognitive performance.
A high BMI is associated with lower blood flow to the brain, specifically to the prefrontal cortex, and may negatively impact behaviors associated with this brain region. As mentioned, athletes and strength trained individuals often have high BMI's and are often very lean, yet blood flow to the brain still is an important factor in health.
Peripheral resistance is the force against blood flow. Through exercise we are able to increase body size and alter peripheral resistance. Changing your BMI through exercise and neglecting to train the musculature of the head and neck, that is, the musculature that delivers blood to the brain is not a sound health practice.
All exercise progams should include the brains delivery system. A sound program has head and neck exercises for all individuals whether they are athletes or not. Get Strong and always include head and neck training in an exercise regime.