Your Body composition is your road map to success!
Body composition is essential for tracking your progress towards your goals. Ever get lost and look at a map to figure out how to get back on track? Your map is useless unless you have a point of reference. Once you find out where you are and where you are going, then you can plot the most efficient course to get to your destination. Your body is no different. In order to get lean, you first need to establish your body fat percentage, your lean mass and your fat weight- YOUR STARTING POINT. And you need to know your true ideal body weight- YOUR DESTINATION. Once you have established these two points, then you can put together an ACTION PLAN to accomplish your goal, and you have an accurate method for TRACKING YOUR PROGRESS towards your goals.
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Why can't you just weigh yourself on the scale?
The scale tells you nothing about the composition of your weight. If you put on 1 pound of muscle and lose one pound of fat, you are definitely leaner, but the scale shows no indication of this. Body composition is the most accurate method of tracking your progress towards your goals.
How lean are you?
Body composition is a measurement of how LEAN you are. When you test your body fat percentage you are determining what percentage of your total body weight is FAT and how much is LEAN BODY MASS (i.e. the weight of your muscles, bones and organs). The less fat you have relative to the amount of muscle you have, the leaner you are. Your lean body mass contributes to your structure, strength and shape. Your aim is to preserve and enhance your lean body mass and to minimize the amount of fat on your body. Why? Too much fat stresses your heart, seriously impinges on your health, reduces your performance (physical, mental and emotional), and ruins your body's shape. The leaner you are, the more energy you will have, the stronger you will be, the more resistance to disease you will have and the healthier and more youthful you will look and feel.
What is your risk of disease?
Body composition is an independent risk factor for the major lifestyle-related diseases: heart disease, cancer, diabetes type 2 and stroke. In a landmark study of over 20,000 nurses over 15 years, revealed that the higher your body fat percentage, the higher the risk of chronic degenerative disease; and, conversely, the lower one's body fat percentage, the lower the risk of chronic degenerative disease. Biomarkers , a landmark text written by two Tufts University professors, Dr. Irwin Rosenburg and Dr. Peter Evans, describes body composition as the most important indicator of health and aging.
What is optimal body composition?
The average body composition of men and women in the United States is 25% and 35%, respectively. At these body fat percentages, risk of chronic degenerative disease is high. Research shows that optimal body fat percentage for men: 15% body fat or less and for women: 22% body fat or less-a low risk of disease. The lower your body fat percentage, the healthier you will become. You cannot get too lean. For an A+ body, men should aim for a body fat percentage between 8-12%, and women should aim for: 12-18%.
How do you measure body composition?
One of the most accurate and convenient ways to test body composition is using skin fold calipers . Have someone test the amount of subcutaneous fat (fat below the skin) at 7 different sites on your body. Use the body composition manual included with the skin fold calipers as a guide to accurate skin fold testing. Enter your skinfold measurements into the body composition table to calculate your total body fat percentage. In addition, take your circumference measurements using a tape measure. This is something you can easily track by yourself. It helps you get in tune with your body and takes no time! Measure your full body composition and circumference measurements initially to establish your starting point, then track these measurements once a month. Record your results in your Progress Tracking Sheet .
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