Body Composition


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Body Composition represents the different components which make up a person’s body weight. It is the allocation of fat and muscle in your body. A person would never be ‘over-fat’ but he would be ‘over-weight’. The human body is made of two types of tissues lean tissues and fatty tissues. Lean tissues which make up your muscles, bones, ligaments etc are important for metabolic activity while fatty tissues do not have any role to play in the metabolism or growth.

I am sure you must have wondered what is supposed to by your ideal weight. Women are always confronted with this perennial question, which they ask to themselves and people around them-Am I looking fat in this dress? The amount of body fat required varies differently for men and women. The minimum percent of body fat for men would be around five percent and for women, ten to twelve percent. Men should caution themselves against tiding over the fat level of 25 percent. Women have a reason to worry about their body fat accumulating on the larger side if it exceeds 33 percent.

There are different methods of finding out if the person is fat or if he is healthy. The methods also known as Body Composition Analysis has a standard form of assessing called hydrodensitometry. This method is complicated and time-consuming. So the physiologists have switched to skin fold measurements, as a viable alternative. Here in this method, there is a qualified trainer or physiologist who assesses your body composition with tests which could give almost accurate results. Two other famous method of body composition assessments, that of waist to hip ratio and body mass index (BMI) are useful but may not be interpreted properly

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The aim should be to lower your body fat and increase muscle density. This can be done through regular exercise. Your body is made of essential constituents like water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals etc. So if you have layers of fat centered on your waist, you could be a risk factor for heart diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure.

You might think that most people are naturally fat and overweight due to their genes. This is true to some extent but the number one reason for altering your body composition and being over-weight is due to erratic life-style. When your body undergoes a change in puberty, you will see that the fat cells actually increase in size. There is no increase in their number. So, in other words, the cells have a tendency to expand or shrink depending on how many extra calories are stored in your body.

Low body fat is important for improved performance and athleticism. But too low body fat is also a burgeoning problem. With the onset of ‘pencil slim’ fad pouring, a lot of women compromise very heavily on their eating habits, giving rise to disorderly eating patterns, osteoporosis, anorexic, bulimia etc.

To change your body composition, you need to be at the correct balance between the calories you intake and the calories you burn. You need to indulge yourself in fitness exercises or aerobics. When you bicycle, jog or do aerobics, you are on your way to decrease the body fat. Also you need to check your consumption of fatty foods. When you exercise you gain muscle tone and mass. Begin with a regimen of fifteen minutes a day.

If you eat hi-calorie food and do not burn them by exercising or vigorous activity, then you would naturally become, what is termed as ‘fat’, with low muscular strength. Also it is true that when you stick to a balanced diet and exercise regularly, you may not see a change in total weight. But you will build your muscle mass and there will be a positive reduction in your body fat. Not only does exercise give you a fresh glow to your skin, but also you look vibrant in terms of health, and your body composition will improve for the better. One should note that muscle is three times more in weight that fat per unit of volume. So you would weigh more if you have more muscle power.

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