Although you might have heard of body composition, you might not understand what it refers to and why it’s so important.
Body composition tells us what the body is made up of, looking at everything from water, body fat to lean muscle mass.
There are several reasons why body composition is important. After all, measuring body composition allows us to improve our health, fitness and quality of life. Unlike simply measuring weight, understanding body composition lets us put together meaningful plans on how to reach our fitness and health goals going forward.
To help you find out more, in this guide, Bodystat look closer at what body composition is and why it’s so important.
What is body composition?
As we have mentioned, body composition describes what our bodies are made up of. This tells us the proportion of fat as well as non-fat mass in the body.
So, what are the differences between the two?
Body fat is found in under the skin or around the organs. Although ‘essential fats’ are necessary to provide us with energy, protect organs and regulate important hormones, some people can have an excess of non-essential body fat. This can cause a variety of problems for the body, including obesity, tiredness, diabetes and heart failure.
Non-fat mass, or lean tissue, on the other hand, refers to our bones, muscles, organs, tissues and water. These are the things which burn calories for energy, which body fat does not do.
Body composition measures these elements to tell us what are bodies are made up of. It shows us changes in fat, muscle mass and body fat percentage. This helps us understand our health levels and where we need to improve.
What about BMI?
Many of those considering losing weight or measuring how healthy they are will start by calculating their Body Mass Index (BMI.)
However, BMI is not the best way to accurately monitor your health. After all, BMI is worked out as someone’s weight divided by their height squared. BMI does not measure how much excess fat we hold opposed to bone and muscle.
Nowadays, BMI is widely considered as simplified and outdated.
Measuring body composition, on the other hand, is a far more effective way to analyse body measurements including body fat percentage, water percentage and lean mass.
So, if you are looking to improve your health and fitness, it’s always better to focus on body composition over BMI.
Why is body composition important?
There are several reasons why understanding body composition is key.
Firstly, it is crucial for those looking to develop their fitness.
As we have discussed, unlike a BMI calculator which does not differentiate between fat and muscle mass, a body composition test can accurately measure the quantity of fat, lean muscle and water you have in your body.
Being able to track measurements as you lose fat or develop muscle plays a crucial role in planning your fitness regime and reaching peak performance.
The more you understand about your body composition, the easier it is to create a plan to loose excess fat and build up muscle.
Understanding your body composition also helps to ensure that you don’t lose too much fat, which can equally cause a range of problems for the body.
Understanding your body composition is also important when it comes to health.
After all, it is recognised that too much body fat can be a serious health risk, leading to problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, type two diabetes and a range of other conditions.
Body composition plays an important role in understanding your health and wellness, measuring the differences between leanness and too much fat. This allows you to accurately assess your health and plan your lifestyle and diet accordingly.
How to measure body composition
One way to measure body composition is with a portable Bodystat machine. Not only is this method quick and non-invasive, it’s also inexpensive.
The Bodystat device uses bio-electrical impedance (BIA) to accurately analyse and measure fat, lean muscle and water quantities in your body.
During the test, you will be required to lie down and apply four electrodes, two to the hand and two to the foot. Once applied, a small electrical frequency passes through the body and the resistance and reactance to the flow of the currant can be measured.
Now, you will be able to track these measurements as you lose fat, build muscle or monitor hydration. You will receive useful insights and daily trending information so you can keep track of your progress. In fact, you can download your results via USB directly into our new software to help make analysing your results even quicker and easier.
Measuring body composition in this way is a highly useful tool for improving performance and encouraging you to improve in your fitness regime.
Other ways to measure body composition include dual-energy X-ray obsorbtiometry (DXA.) Widely considered the gold-standard method for measuring body composition, DXA offers scientific and professional results. However it can be expensive and time-consuming as a result, and is only available to selected health professionals.
Bodystat are here to help
Now you understand the importance of body composition, rather than outdated forms of measurement such as BMI, Bodystat are here to help with the next steps.
Whether you are a medical or research professional, fitness instructor or just serious about your wellness and fitness, we offer a range of products at the forefront of the latest advancements that you know you can trust.
With over 100 years of collective experience in Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis, the Bodystat team is dedicated to researching BIA technology in order to provide you with the best electronics that accurately measure body composition. That means you can create a tailored health or fitness programme that is guaranteed success.
With 31 years of experience, we’re proud to be experts in our field. For more information or to see how we can help you, give us a call today.