BODY COMPOSITION: WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL FAT PERCENTAGE?

When we talk about health we are usually conditioned by society and we look only at the weight indicated by the scale. However, there are measures that indicate much better what really happens in our body and body composition is one of them. You may be losing (or gaining) weight … but do you know if it is fat or muscle?

We know that lean muscle has many benefits: it increases strength, reduces the risk of injury and promotes a healthy life for the future. The National Institute of Health of the USA has verified that muscle strength decreases between 16.6% and 40.9% after 40 years .

In the case of women, in particular, body fat plays an important role, since it helps to maintain the reproductive organs and to have a regular and healthy menstrual cycle. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that the fact of being thin or having a low percentage of body fat is not synonymous with health.

METHODS TO MEASURE BODY FAT

  1. PLIOMETER OR LIPOCALIBRE

This method consists of measuring three skinfolds and analyzing the values ​​shown by the caliber. It is the easiest way to calculate body fat and you can do it at home with a friend or your coach. However, it is not usually very effective for people with obesity and may have a large margin of error, since it depends on who takes the measures. So if you are going to try this method, make sure that the same person always takes the measurements, so that the comparisons are more precise. It is not the most accurate method, but it saves time.

 

BIOELECTRICAL IMPEDANCE

No, do not worry, it is not an electric shock and it does not produce any pain: it is a measurement made by electrodes placed on the feet (and often also on the hands). To calculate the percentage of fat, electrical impulses are sent to the body and the speed with which it responds is measured. The most accurate results are obtained if electrodes are placed on both the feet and the hands. These types of machines are easily found in gyms and nutrition stores.

 

HYDROSTATIC DENSITOMETRY

Hydrostatic densitometry is a much more precise method than those mentioned above, since the calculations are made based on the density of fat and lean tissue, inside a tank full of water! The weight is compared inside and outside the water, to calculate the density and, therefore, the body composition. Normally these types of measurements are usually performed in medical centers.

 

  1. AIR DISPLACEMENT PLETHYSMOGRAPHY

It is a procedure similar to hydro static endometriosis, but in this case the air is used instead of water. To measure body fat you have to sit inside a machine, generally known as Bod Pod. As in the previous case, this type of machines are found in medical centers and gyms.

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