One goal of working out is to decrease body fat, however there is no such thing as having 0% body fat. Without body fat our body will not be able to function properly. Having body fat allows cushioning and insulation for your vital organs as your body fat surrounds them. It is true that body fat can get to unhealthy levels if you let it, but that is why medical professionals measure body fat percentage to make sure you are at a healthy level.
A healthy body fat percentage varies based on the individual. There is no one true body fat percentage that everyone should be at. Men have a different body fat percentage than women and a younger person will vary from an older person. In general, men only need essential fat of 2% to 5% which is less than women need, which is 10% to 13%. This is because men have a lower body to lean tissue ratio compared to women. Body fat percentages past your essential fat are then ranked on categories from fit to obese. Age also plays a role in the ideal body fat percentage scenario. As you get older, your ideal body fat percentage will go up.
There are multiple ways to calculate your body fat percentage. Medical professionals use high tech equipment such as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, hydrostatic weighing and 3-D body scanners. However, you can do your own calculations at home. Using skin calipers, handheld analyzers, or even measuring your body circumference will suffice. If you see that you are on the unhealthier end of your calculations, it might be a good idea to contact a medical professional for a more accurate reading and advice.
Body fat is essential for us to live a healthy lifestyle. It is good to track your body fat percentage and see what category you fall in based on your gender and your age. Doing this will show you if you are in the ideal body fat category or if you may need some work on getting there. Contact your medical professional if you need help getting to a healthier body fat percentage category.
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Article written by William Graves.