Why you should regularly track your body compositon
It is the Inside that matters
Even if you appear to be healthy on the outside and weigh in at a seemingly normal weight on the scale, you may still have an unhealthy body composition. Body composition is a method of describing what the body is made of. It includes fat, protein, minerals and body water. It also describes weight more accurately than BMI. Body composition analysis can accurately show changes in fat mass, muscle mass, and body fat percentage. Understanding your body composition can help you determine the state of you overall health. For example, if your ratio of body fat is much higher than your fat-free mass, then you could be putting yourself at risk for severe health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatigue, cancer and more.
"Physical Fitness" means being well rounded and competent in all areas of fitness. Fitness isn't just the absence of disease, but also a general ability to move confidently in a variety of activities. The professional health circles consider fitness to be a combination of strength, cardiovascular health, mobility and a healthy body composition. Mechanically, excessive body fat puts undue stress on the joints which speeds up degradation. This may be felt after a long day of being active, or after years of low-level wear. The act of carrying extra weight also makes the relative feeling of extortion greater. Activities that should not be taxing, such as walking up a flight of stairs, may be more difficult with increased body fat.
BMI is an outdated method
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a common method used to assess the health of an individual by comparing the amount of weight they carry to the height of the individual. In its most basic sense, BMI may be useful for identifying those who are at an increased health risk as a result of excess fat accumulation.
Despite the widespread use of BMI in clinical practice, BMI has many limitations and is a poor tracking tool for weight change because there's no way to identify changes in your weight are in fat or muscle. That's because BMI is calculated simply by dividing a person't weight in kilograms by their height: BMI = kg/m2
Predicting health or mortality using a single number such as BMI oversimplifies health risks and ignores important factors that contribute to positive health.
As you move away from BMI, you should focus on the percentage of body fat you have at your weight. Another important data is Visceral Fat. Visceral fat is a type of body fat that's stored within the abdominal cavity. It's located near several vital organs, including the liver, stomach and intestines. It can also build up in the arteries. Visceral fat is sometimes referred to as "active fat" because it can actively increase the risk of serious health problems.
Focus on Percent Body Fat and Visceral Fat Instead
If you have some belly fat, that's not necessarily visceral fat. Belly fat can also be subcutaneous fat, stored just under the skin, Visceral fat is actually made inside the abdominal cavity, and isn't easily seen.
Visceral fat level is evaluated on a scale of 1 to 59 with the InBody Dial.Safe levels of visceral fat stay under 13. If your rating is above 13, immediate lifestyle changes are needed.
Visceral fat can start causing health problems immediately. It can cause insulin resistance, even if you've never ha diabetes or pre-diabetes. This may be because a retinol-binding protein that increases insulin resistance is secreted by this type of fat. Most importantly, carrying excessive visceral fat increases your risk for developing several serious long term, life-threatening medical conditions.
- Heart Attacks and Heart disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Breast Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Alzheimer's Disease
Fortunately, visceral fat is extremely receptive to exercise, diet and lifestyle changes. With each pound you use, you lose some visceral fat.
When possible, you should exercise for at lease 30 minutes every day. Make sure to include plenty of both cardio exercise and strength training. Cardio includes aerobic exercise, like circuit training, biking, or running, and will burn fat faster. Strength training will slowly burn more calories over time as your muscles get stronger and consume more energy.