Measuring your body composition accurately is an important part of developing a healthy lifestyle and realigning your fitness goals. A body composition measurement can be the first step in understanding your current health and fitness stats, so you can focus efforts in the right areas and track progress.
What is Body Composition?
Body composition is an easy way of describing what our bodies are made of. We are made up of two components – fat and lean mass. Lean mass is tissue like muscle, bone, water and other body parts, excluding fat.
Methods Of Measurement
When measuring body composition, the following methods are popular.
- Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) – This non-invasive method of measurement sends non-harmful electrical currents through the body and evaluates the amount of muscle, fat and body water based on the measured resistance.
- Hydrostatic Weighing – This is a very accurate method of measuring body fat percentage, where the body is weighed underwater in order to determine the densities of body fat and lean mass.
- Body Fat Percentage Calipers – This is a quick, noninvasive method of measuring your body fat percentage. It’s one of the most accurate ways to measure your body fat and is used by experts in the fitness industry.
- Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) – This is the gold-standard when it comes to body composition and is used to measure total body fat percentage, as well as fat and lean mass distribution throughout the body.
- Skinfold Calipers – This method requires that 3–7 of your skinfold measurements be taken from different parts of your body and then used to determine your body fat percentage.
Benefits of Accurate Body Composition Measurement
Achieve long-term health goals – Knowing your body composition helps you understand where you’re at today and plan your progress over time.
Improved fitness performance – Accurately measuring your body composition allows you to work efficiently towards improving muscle mass and reducing fat mass.
Avoid unhealthy weight fluctuations – If you have fluctuations in your body weight, it’s important to understand why they are happening. An accurate body composition measurement can help identify possible causes.
Awareness of potential health risks – Understanding your body composition is crucial for avoiding potential health risks associated with being overweight or having too much body fat.
Accurately measuring your body composition is a worthwhile first step in the journey of developing a healthy lifestyle and realigning your fitness goals. With the right method, you can easily understand your current health and fitness stats, so you can focus your efforts in the right places and track your progress.