The Importance of Body Composition
With so much emphasis on hitting your ideal weight or looking trim and toned at the beach, many of us are confused about the idea of body composition. Body mass index, or BMI, is often used as a simple way to calculate how much a person should weigh, but this has some faults and may not always be accurate. Discover why body composition matters, what levels men and women should strive for and how you can measure your own body composition.
What is Body Composition?
The most basic way to explain body composition is to think of it in terms of what the human body is made up of. If you have a lot of fat on your body, then your body weight may be composed of more fat than is ideal for your frame. Similarly, someone who weighs more than their recommended amount may simply be muscular, and a test of their body composition might reveal that they are, in fact, quite lean.
Why is an Ideal Body Composition So Important?
Reaching the ideal body composition means that you don't carry any excess fat on your frame. Having too much of your body comprised of fat can lead to things like high blood pressure, Type II Diabetes, high cholesterol levels and even an increased risk of cardiac problems.
What is the Ideal Body Composition For Men and Women?
It is important to note that men and women have very different ideal body compositions. Men should have body fat levels of 10 to 22 percent, but they should avoid going below five percent. Women, on the other hand, do best at levels of 20 to 32 percent body fat, and they should avoid reaching less than 15 percent body fat.
How Can I Reach My Ideal Body Composition?
Every individual needs to find the right balance of exercise and a healthy diet in order to reach their ideal body composition. However, things like decreasing alcohol, reducing sugar intake and including cardiovascular exercise as well as resistance training are smart ways to go about reaching your ideal body composition.
Where Can I Measure My Existing Body Composition?
You can measure your body fat composition in several ways. A measuring tape and an online calculator may be sufficient, but a professional using calipers or bioelectrical impedance will result in a more accurate number.
When you are trying to target an ideal weight, you might want to forget about the scale and instead focus on overall body composition. Reducing fat, rather than just weight, can help you to look and perform your best.