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Body composition-what does it matter?

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Most people have a bathroom scale which they use sometimes. It is a good skill for measuring weight but it cannot accurately reflect your true health. On the other hand, body composition can help you to know more about your health.

Body composition takes your weight measurements one step further and helps you to find out what percentage of your weight comes from fat, muscle, and bone.

Your weight may come from fat mass and non-fat mass. Non-fat mass includes muscle and bone weight. When you know the difference between these two types of weights, it can help you to get a complete picture of your health and fitness.

What is body composition?

Your body composition helps you to find out what percentage of your total body weight comes from fat, muscle, and bone. When you know about your body composition, you will have more detailed information about your health.

This is important because two people can weigh the same but they may have very different wellness and fitness needs and that happens because of their different body compositions.

Why is it important?

It is important because it measures your overall health and fitness levels. That measurement is done in terms of your body fat percentage. The bathroom scale cannot tell the difference between how much your weight comes from fat and how much from muscle, but body composition measurements can help you to find that out.

If you have less fat and more muscle, it means you have a better level of health and fitness.

What is body fat?

Body fat simply means all the stored fat in your body. Body fat can be of two types-

Subcutaneous fat and visceral fat

Subcutaneous fat

This is the layer of fat under your skin. It is necessary because it insulates and protects your body.

Visceral fat

This is the type of fat that surrounds and questions your abdominal organs.

Body fat also is important for you because it provides energy, makes certain hormones, transports fat-soluble vitamins, and also serves as a building block for cell membranes.

Body fat percentage

Body fat percentage is the percentage of fat that makes up your total body weight. Several factors may decide your body fat percentage including sex, fitness level, age, and lifestyle.

According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the following are the standard fat percentages- 

ACE Body Fat Percent Norms for Men and Women
Essential Fat10% to 13%2% to 5%
Athletes14% to 20%6% to 13%
Fitness21% to 24%14% to 17%
Acceptable25% to 31%18% to 24%
ObeseOver 32%Over 25%

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