by Ryan Rupert
Body composition and how it relates to your health is currently a hot topic in the fitness world. More so than weight or body mass index (BMI), your body composition can give an accurate assessment of your overall health and fitness. We here at CrossFit Ashland want you to have the best information on this important subject so you can make the best choices for your health. Here’s a short Q&A on the subject to help clear up any confusion.
What exactly does the term body composition mean?
The tissues of the human body can be simplified into two categories: fat and lean tissue. Fat, of course, is the stuff that likes to settle around our bellies and hips, as well as what insulates and cushions our organs. Lean tissue is everything else: muscle, bone, hair, etc. Body composition basically refers to the ratio of fat to lean tissue, and is generally expressed as a percent body fat. Here’s a real world example – let’s say our friend John weighs 150 lbs. and has been measured as having 10% body fat. This means that John’s body is made up of 15lbs of fat and 135lbs of lean tissues.
Why should you care about body composition?
Keeping your body composition at a healthy place will help you to avoid debilitating diseases and help you to lead a more enjoyable and comfortable life. Carrying a body fat percentage that is too high is linked to diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. Having too low of a body fat can lead to health problems as well such as lowered immune system function, chronic fatigue, and reproductive issues.
How and where can you have your body fat measured?
There are quite a few ways to measure your body fat, but the simplest, least expensive method is skinfold caliper measurements. In this test, an experienced technician takes measurements of folds of skin from the major areas of the body and determines a body fat percentage from those measurements. Head Coach Ben Chew at CrossFit Ashland is highly skilled and experienced with this method and would be happy to assist you in determining your body composition!
Now that I know my body fat percentage, what’s the next step?
Set a goal and find out how to achieve it! Whether you want to decrease your body fat, increase your lean mass, or you just want to stay happy and healthy, proper diet and exercise are the keys to success. The knowledgeable trainers at CrossFit Ashland can work with you to develop a personalized training plan based in the incredibly effective, scientifically-proven, and appropriate for all shapes, sizes, and ages CrossFit methodologies. With a workout plan in place, you can then ensure your success with dietary recommendations from Wellness Educator Jennifer Chew, RN. And I can’t forget to mention the friendly and supportive community of members, who will cheer for you every step of the way