Do numbers in body composition matter? - GulfToday

Do numbers in body composition matter?

Elaine Superio

Elaine Superio

Fitness 180° Manager Sharjah Ladies Club

exercise 1

Picture used for illustrative purposes only.

Having a goal when working out is like navigating a long journey; you need to know where you want to go and how you will reach your destination. This will include valid reasons for every pitstop you will encounter. To be able to understand clearly how to reach our goals it is important to understand what ‘body analysis’ means. Are we sure that we are following the right path? Is our workout plan addressing the concerns we want to focus on? I would like to share with you the common terminologies encountered when we do a body analysis.

This is usually the first step done on your fitness journey. Remember, it is important that you keep track and do a reassessment every 6-8 weeks.

Body fat
Body fat is the proportion of fat to the total body weight. Body fat mass is the actual weight of fat in your body.

Total body water
Total body water is the total amount of fluid in the body expressed as a percentage of total weight. Over half the body consists of water. It regulates body temperature and helps eliminate waste. You lose water continuously through urine, sweat and breathing, so it’s important to keep replacing it.

Muscle mass
The predicted weight of muscle in your body is your muscle mass. This includes the skeletal muscles, smooth muscles such as cardiac and digestive muscles and the water contained in these muscles. Muscles act as an engine in consuming energy. Monitoring the muscle mass of each of your arms and legs and core abdominal area will help you see and understand the impact of your training program over time. You can also use this information to correct muscle imbalances and avoid injury.

Muscle quality
Muscle quality indicates the condition of muscles which changes according to factors like age and exercise level. The muscles of younger people or those who exercise regularly are normally in a good state, but the state of muscles deteriorates in elderly people or those who do not get enough exercise.  

Bone mass
The predicted weight of the bone mineral in your body is bone mass. This should not be confused with bone density. While your bone mass is unlikely to undergo unnoticeable changes in the short term, it’s important to maintain healthy bones by having a balanced diet rich in calcium and by doing plenty of weight bearing exercise.

BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)
Your BMR displays the daily minimum level of calories your body requires when at rest in order to function. A person with a high BMR burns more calories at rest than a person with low BMR. As people age, their metabolic age and rate changes. Basal metabolism rises as a child matures and peaks at around 16 or 17, after which point it typically starts to decrease. A slow BMR will make it harder to lose body fat and overall weight

Metabolic age
Metabolic age is calculated by comparing your BMR to the BMR average of your chronological age group. If your metabolic age is higher than your actual age, it’s an indication that you need to improve your metabolic rate.

Visceral fat
Visceral fat is located deep in the core abdominal area, surrounding and protecting the vital organs

Physique rating
Assessing muscle and body fat levels gives us a physique rating and the result will be one of nine body types.
As your activity level changes the balance of body fat and muscle mass will gradually alter, which in turn will affect your overall physique.

BMI (Body Mass Index)
Your BMI is a standardised ratio of weight to height, used as a general indicator of health.

DCI (Daily Caloric Intake)
DCI is an estimate of how many calories you can consume within 24 hours to maintain your current weight. This includes the sum of calories for your BMR, daily activity metabolism and diet-induced thermogenesis which is energy used in connection with digestion, absorption, metabolism and other eating activities.

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