What is Body Composition?
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Body composition is the proportion of fat and non-fat mass in your body. A healthy body composition is one that includes a lower percentage of body fat and a higher percentage of non-fat mass, which includes muscle, bones, and organs.
Body composition is a method to gain insight into your physical health. It gives a broad range of information about the state of your body. Body composition on the other hand, includes measurements such as fat, muscle, water and bones. Taking all these components into account makes this approach much more accurate. This is a trending topic in health, medicine, and fitness because it is a whole body assessment that gives you the blueprint for improving your overall health.
This page explains what body composition is, how knowing your body composition can help you and how you can measure it. Do you want to know what measurements there are and what they entail? You’ve come to the right place.
Key Body Metrics and What They Mean For You
Weight is an overall measure of your body mass. This measurement includes all of the elements of your body – bones, blood, organs, muscles, and fat. A number of different factors contribute to your weight, including hereditary components, hormonal abnormalities, exercise, diet, and lifestyle. Even so, measuring body weight is a pretty straightforward calculation, usually made using a scale. Being underweight or overweight can significantly impact your physical and psychological wellbeing, so it is an important component in considering your overall health and wellness.
A component of the body that most “dieters” want to get rid of, body fat is actually an important component of the body for overall health. More technically known as adipose tissue, body fat is a spongy tissue that is stored in the bones, organs, central nervous system, and muscles. The amount needed in the body is different for men and women. Generally speaking, men should have at least 2 to 5 percent body fat while healthy women need anywhere from 10 to 13 percent for essential bodily functions. The excess fat in the body is known as nonessential fat and is where excess energy is stored. There are different ways to estimate or measure body fat, but one of the most effective calculations is to measure body fat by percentage.
Your BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a measurement of your weight versus your height. Your BMI is an important factor in considering overall health, as it can be an indicator of high overall body fat. This calculation can also be used to screen for specific health conditions that may be related to disproportionate weight. BMI is calculated by dividing your weight (kg) by your height squared (m^2).
Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the total number of calories that your body needs to perform basic, life-sustaining functions. These basal functions include circulation, breathing, cell production, nutrient processing, protein synthesis, and ion transport. Basal Metabolic Rate is the number of calories required to keep your body functioning at rest. BMR is also known as your body's metabolism; therefore, any increase to your metabolic weight, such as exercise, will increase your BMR.
Fat-Free Body Weight
Fat-free mass consists of your bone, muscle and connective tissue plus your brain, skin, internal organs, blood, water and the chemicals stored within your body such as calcium, iron and glycogen. Two people of similar height who weigh exactly the same may have completely different fat-free mass values.
Body water is an important physiological measure that can significantly impact overall health. This factor is a measure of the water content in the various tissues, blood, bones, and other components of your body. This water contributes significantly to the human body both in terms of weight and volume. Maintaining the right amount of water in your body is part of fluid balance and homeostasis. The average adult male is approximately 70 percent water; however, most adults fall somewhere below 65 percent. A body fat scale is one of the only ways to estimate your total body water percentage at home.
Visceral Fat Rating
Visceral fat is an extremely important calculation that present information regarding your overall health and your potential to develop a number of alarming health conditions. Visceral fat can be described as the body fat that surrounds the waist. It is stored deep under the skin and is generally wrapped around major organs, such as your liver, pancreas, and kidneys. This is an important component of your body, as it ensures there is appropriate distance between each organ. But too much visceral fat creates too much space and can lead to an increase in blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attack. Visceral fat can be calculated by measuring the largest parts around your waist and hips.
Subcutaneous fat is the jiggly fat visible just under the skin. Subcutaneous fat is normally harmless and may even protect against some diseases. Visceral fat is fat that surrounds the organs. Though it is not visible from the outside, it is associated with numerous diseases.
Muscle mass is a key measurement of the muscles in your body in pounds or kilograms. This measure plays an important role in your overall fitness, as muscles burn energy and fat all the time. As your muscles mass increases. Your body is able to burn calories or energy faster, which has the effect of increasing weight loss. Muscle mass includes the measurement of the smooth and skeletal muscles as well as water in the body.
Bone mass is a measurement of the overall bone mineral density of your body. This measure provides an important snapshot of your overall bone health. Low bone density can be a key indicator of osteoporosis.
Skeletal muscle is one of three major muscle types, the others being cardiac muscleand smooth muscle. It is a form of striated muscle tissue, which is under the voluntary control of the somatic nervous system. Most skeletal muscles are attached to bones by bundles of collagen fibers known as tendons.
Proteins are essential nutrients for the human body. They are one of the building blocks of body tissue and can also serve as a fuel source. As a fuel, proteins provide as much energy density as carbohydrates: 4 kcal per gram; in contrast, lipids provide 9 kcal per gram.
Compares your BMR to an average for your age group. This is calculated by comparing your basal metabolic rate (BMR) to the BMR average of your chronological age group. If your metabolic age is higher than your actual age, it’s an indication that you need to improve your metabolic rate. Increased exercise will build healthy muscle tissue, which in turn will improve your metabolic age. Stay on track by monitoring regularly.
What Are The Dangers of Not Knowing Your Body Composition?
A healthy balance between fat and muscle is vital for health and wellness throughout life. Scientific evidence shows that a healthy body composition will increase your lifespan; reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, insulin resistance, increase energy levels, and improve self-esteem.
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