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3 Things You Need to Know About Body Composition

Learn more about what your body composition means, how it's measured and ways to decrease it, so you can lower your risk for developing certain medical conditions down the road.

#1: What is Body Fat?

Body fat is an essential component to the body. Body fat is a good source of insulation and therefore regulates the body’s temperature on a consistent basis. It is also used as a major energy reserve as well as to support and protecti various organs. However, excess body fat can hinder bodily functions and increases an individual’s risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

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#2: What is Bioelectrical Impedance?

Bioelectrical Impedance is one form of measuring body composition. The method is conducted by sending a weak electric current through the body. Readings are taken from the resistance in the electric current (the more body fat, the more resistance). Calculations of body fat are then
made from the information of electrical resistance, age, weight, gender and height.

#3: How to Decrease Body Fat

Body fat can be controlled in various ways. Eating a healthy diet and exercising are two ways that contribute to controlling body fat. To decrease or maintain a healthy body fat, the following are reccomended: 

  • A minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (running, biking, and swimming), at least 5 times a week i
  • Following a balanced diet

ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) Recommended Body Composition (% Body Fat) for Men and Women

Male

Male Fitness Category20-2930-3940-4950-5960+
Low7.1-11.711.3-15.813.6-1815.3-19.715.3-20.7
Borderline Low11.8-15.815.9-18.9 18.1-2119.8-22.620.8-23.4
Average15.9-19.419-22.221.1-24 22.7-25.623.5-26.6
Borderline High19.5-25.822.3-27.2 24.1-28.825.7-30.226.7-31.1
High 25.927.328.930.331.2

Female

Female Fitness Category20-2930-3940-4950-5960+
Low14.5-18.915.5-19.918.5-23.421.6-26.521.1-27.4
Borderline Low19-2220-2323.5-26.326.6-3027.5-30.8
Average22.1-25.323.1-26.926.4-3030.1-33.430.9-34.2
Borderline High25.4-3227-32.730.1-34.933.5-37.834.3-39.2
High32.132.83537.939.3

 

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