Keeping a track of your body fat% is not only useful for the purpose of entering a certain body-goal or to build visible abs. Keeping your body fat percentage under check and in the healthy range is more than likely to help reduce serious health risks like heart diseases.
Obesity or excess of fat accumulation can create unnecessary problems in the body like creating blockages in the blood vessels, throwing your lipid profile out of whack to even creating fertility problems in women.
Why should you bother about fat % when you feel you are just fine and healthy? Because it has pretty much everything to do with how your body functions. Perhaps, the best part about knowing your body fat% allows you to compare and distinguish your own health.
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While the scale may be showing you a perfectly desired figure regarding your weight, it does not necessarily imply that all of that is healthy weight.
Weight seen on scale is a far way from being an accurate measure of showing the true condition of your body. Rather, knowing your body’s composition would help you understand your health status in a better way. Body composition is nothing but your overall weight divided into components like Fat Mass and Fat Free mass (muscles, bones, organs). Knowing this tells you how much amount of what you have in your body.
The Fat Files:
Fat in the body is further classified as essential fat (the fat surrounding vital organs) and nonessential fat. You need at least some amount of fat in the body for smooth physiological functioning and therefore you will always find there is some minimal fat requirement that is expressed. Normally, for men the minimal amount of fat required is 3% and 12% for women. Any fat above this particular figure is considered as non essential fat.
Fig. 1.0 Body Fat% Ranges
How do you determine your body fat?
There are various techniques to estimate body composition, the most common techniques involve determining the waist circumference, BMI, skinfold evaluation and lastly, bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). However, it is the BIA and skinfold evaluation that give you the most accurate readings regarding your overall body fat.
Calculating the body fat through any of these techniques is, however, best done by an expert. And to keep a check on your total health, it is recommended that you get yourself checked through either of these methods every 6 months.
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What can you do with the findings?
Keeping a track of these findings will not only make you more aware of your own body, but if you are someone who workout on a regular basis or perhaps planning to achieve a fitness goal, tracking it will tell you well your exercise regime has been working for you. If you find your body fat% to be in the healthy range, you should continue to maintain it so through healthy diet and exercise. If you are above your healthy range, you can introduce improvements in your lifestyle and eating habits to cut down any health risks.
You must remember, that desired changes in the body composition may take time and effort however it is the consistency and perseverance that will help you achieve long term health goals. Being active and making healthy eating choices are the key to a healthy body and mind.
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