When many people think of how to measure health and fitness, what comes to mind is the number on the scale. When the number is low, you feel good, but as it starts to creep up, you think that it’s time to clean up your diet or get back in the gym. But weight is by no means the full picture of health, nor is BMI. Both of these measurements ignore a crucial fact: muscle tissue is more dense than fat tissue.
That means that a pound of muscle takes up less space in your body than a pound of fat, and weight can be very misleading when it comes to determining how healthy you are. Someone with a high body fat content may weigh less, and be less healthy than someone of an equal size but who has more muscle tissue than fat tissue. So even if your goals are purely aesthetic, focusing solely on the scale may not get you the results you desire.
So what should be your go-to measurement? Body composition. Body composition measures what percentage of your body is made up of fat and how much is made up of fat-free tissue. Fat-free mass includes your bones, muscles, organs, and water content, and can also be referred to as lean tissue. A body composition measurement gives you a much clearer picture of your health than just your weight because you know how much of your body is fat, and how much is lean tissue. Like with weight and BMI, there are healthy ranges for body fat percentage: in general, women should aim for body fat below 31 percent and men should try to keep theirs below 24percent of total body composition.
The Benefits of Tracking Body Composition
At QuickHIT Fitness Labs, we measure your body composition each time you come in for a session with us to help you get a clear picture of your health. The scale may not tell the whole story, especially when you’re building muscle, so we want to help make you as healthy as possible and help you see your progress when the scale may try to convince you otherwise.
But body composition is more than just a measurement. Here are some other great benefits of tracking your body composition:
Lower Your Cholesterol
High cholesterol is bad news. While some cholesterol is necessary for healthy cells, too much of it greatly increases your “cardiometabolic risk,” which means you have a higher chance of a major health incident like a stroke or developing heart disease. In addition to eating a nutritious diet, studies have shown that maintaining a body fat percentage in the healthy range helps boost “good” cholesterol and keeps disease-causing cholesterol at bay.
When you get your body composition measured at QuickHIT Fitness Labs, you’ll not only know where you stand with your strength training, but with your overall health. We also give you personalized nutritional guidance and meal plans to help you get healthy outside of the gym, too. We’re here to help you understand your body composition and use the results to make positive changes in your lifestyle to reduce cardiometabolic risk, if necessary.
Reduce Your Risk of Chronic Illness
Being overweight or obese certainly raises your risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. But, it is not just about your weight. Some people may technically fall into an overweight BMI range if they have a large quantity of muscle mass. At the same time, someone with a high body fat percentage could theoretically be in a healthy BMI range, but not a healthy body fat range. This situation can actually be dangerous — studies have shown that having a healthy BMI but high body fat percentage does increase your risk of developing these conditions.
To make sure that you fully understand your health and where you stand in your disease risk, you need to pay attention to your body composition, not just your weight. Measuring body fat percentage has been proven to be more reliable than weight in predicting cardiovascular disease, too. It’s important to know your body composition even if you are within a healthy weight range.
Get Strong and Fit
If you want to get strong and fit, don’t focus all of your energy on your weight or BMI. Rather, improving your body composition should be your preferred marker of health and fitness. Tracking your body composition is a great way to stay on top of your muscle gains, as you can see your body fat percentage decrease as your lean muscle mass increases. When you start to increase lean tissue and muscle mass, you’ll see improvements in the gym and your metabolism, as muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue. Focusing your energy on lowering body fat percentage, rather than the number on the scale, is much more worthwhile to help you reach your goals.
Want to Learn More About Your Body Composition?
At QuickHIT Fitness Labs, we don’t just measure your body composition, but we put the information to good use. Our experienced trainers offer you personalized health, fitness, and nutritional advice based on your body composition and help you lower your body fat to a range that it best suited for you. We understand that no two people are the same when it comes to health and fitness, which is why we focus on the individual and cater your workouts and advice to fit your unique lifestyle and goals.
If you want to get strong and fit, lower your cholesterol and risk of chronic diseases, and improve your overall health, a body composition measurement is a great place to start. Schedule a workout with us at QuickHIT Fitness Labs to get a body composition measurement and start getting strong with us.