3 Things You Need to Know About Body Fat

3 Things You Need to Know About Body Fat

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 a major energy reserve and supports and protects various organs.So having some body fat is actually necessary for our health. However, excess body fat can hinder bodily functions and increases an individual’s risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes.


#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 regularly are two ways that contribute to controlling body fat. To decrease or maintain a healthy body fat, the following are recommended:

  • A minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (running, biking, and swimming), at least 5 times a week i
  • Maintaining a balanced diet that includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables

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


Male Fitness Category 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+
Low 7.1-11.7 11.3-15.8 13.6-18 15.3-19.7 15.3-20.7
Borderline Low 11.8-15.8 15.9-18.9 18.1-21 19.8-22.6 20.8-23.4
Average 15.9-19.4 19-22.2 21.1-24 22.7-25.6 23.5-26.6
Borderline High 19.5-25.8 22.3-27.2 24.1-28.8 25.7-30.2 26.7-31.1
High 25.9 27.3 28.9 30.3 31.2


Female Fitness Category 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+
Low 14.5-18.9 15.5-19.9 18.5-23.4 21.6-26.5 21.1-27.4
Borderline Low 19-22 20-23 23.5-26.3 26.6-30 27.5-30.8
Average 22.1-25.3 23.1-26.9 26.4-30 30.1-33.4 30.9-34.2
Borderline High 25.4-32 27-32.7 30.1-34.9 33.5-37.8 34.3-39.2
High 32.1 32.8 35 37.9 39.3
Tags Wellness and Fitness