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Discovering Your Healthy Body

Can you determine body fat percentage with a simple measuring device?

There are a variety of factors to take into consideration if you are worried about your health and looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

While sustaining a healthy weight is imperative, keeping track of the number on the scale will only give you a glimpse at your level of health.

Your body fat percentage, the number tells you what portion of your body weight is fat, is another important factor in determining health.

Knowing that information can help you to design and implement an effective fitness program and track the results better.

Testing for your body fat percentage will produce a number that tells you what percentage of your current body weight is fat versus muscle.

The higher the percentage of your overall weight that is fat, the greater your risk for chronic disease.

Excessive body fat can heighten your likelihood of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Body fat percentage is important in gauging health since someone may possess a low/healthy body weight, but have an elevated percentage of body fat, increasing their risk of disease.

Measuring Body Fat- according to Northwestern Health Sciences University, there are multiple ways that body fat can be measured.

A common way of testing body fat utilizes skin calipers. With this method, several zones on the body are grasped with the calipers…

The tester notes how much flesh is caught by the calipers and then uses a formula or body fat calculator to determine your body fat percentage.

Another prevalent method is bioelectrical impedance, which uses a very low electrical current to determine the percentage of fat.

Hydrostatic weighing, another popular method, is more comprehensive than the pervious options and typically done at a hospital or university.

You are momentarily submerged in a shallow pool of water, from there your weight on solid ground is compared to your weight underwater to determine your body fat percentage.

You should not expect 100 percent accuracy from any of these methods.

Yet, they will give you a general concept of your current body fat percentage and allow you to track your progress as you progress through your fitness program.

Participating in fitness testing, tracking of your weight, knowing your body mass index (BMI), and scheduling regular medical checkups will help you to manage your health in a more complete manner.

Being aware your body fat percentage will aid you in determining if your weight loss efforts are proceeding properly.

Desired Levels – aiming for 20 to 21 percent body fat is deemed acceptable for women according to the National Institutes of Health.

A woman is considered obese when her body fat percentage reaches 30 percent or higher.

The University of California claims that while 20 percent is acceptable, healthy body fat readings can be as low as 10 percent, which is considered an “athletic” level.

However, anything below 10 percent is regarded as underweight and unhealthy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn individuals take several issues into consideration when determining health.

Excess weight around your midsection increases your risk for health problems more than additional weight around other portions of the body.

If you are female, your waist circumference should be no greater than 35 inches (unless you are pregnant).

Finally, being physically inactive and poor eating habits will damage your health.

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