Body Composition Analysis
The body composition is the proportion of fat and non-fat mass in a person's body. Healthy body composition is one including lower percentages of body fat and higher portions of lean mass, including the muscles, bones, and organs. Knowing your body composition can help assess your overall health and fitness level. It's often measured at the beginning of a weight-loss or fitness regimen, where you'll need to check it out to monitor your progress periodically.
A complete body composition analysis can give you a 'true' indicator of your inner health—and, when tracked over time, shows the impact of any fitness regimen or weight loss program a person undergoes.
When you undergo a body composition analysis test as part of the other chiropractic services you availed for, you get to find about your status in the following areas:
Body Fat Percentage and Body Fat Mass
The body fat percentage is a person's proportion of fat to their total body weight, while body fat mass is the weight of fat present in your body. Although it may seem less than ideal, body fat is crucial in ensuring one's health and wellbeing. It can help you maintain your body temperature, cushion joints, and protect your internal organs. A body composition analysis can help you keep track of your body. However, though you need healthy body fat, too much of it can damage your health long-term.
Reducing excess body fat can directly reduce your risks of developing chronic conditions like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, degenerative disc disease, heart diseases, and some cancer variations like colon cancer. In contrast, having too little fat can lead to progressive osteoporosis over time, irregular periods, and infertility.
This type of fat is situated deep in the core of a person's abdominal area, surrounding and protecting the vital organs. Even if a person maintains their weight and body fat at healthy levels, as you get older, fat distribution drastically changes—shifting to the abdominal area. Having healthy visceral fat levels can reduce your risks of developing chronic diseases like hypertension and type 2 diabetes.
Besides body fat, a body composition analysis can give you the predicted weight of muscle in your body, known as muscle mass. It includes the smooth muscles like your cardiac or digestive muscles, skeletal muscles, and the water within these muscles. These act as an 'engine' responsible for consuming stored energy. As one's muscle mass increases, the rate at which you burn calories becomes faster, accelerating your basal metabolic rate—reducing excess body fat.
Total Body Water
Total body water is the measurement of the total amount of fluid inside your body. These are essential in staying healthy. After all, over half of a human's body consists of water, responsible for several functions. For instance, it can help regulate your body temperature while eliminating waste, keeping your body as clean and functional as it can be. That's why being well hydrated can help improve your concentration levels, sports performance, and overall wellbeing.
A body composition analysis not only measures body fat, water, and muscle weight, it can also let you know the current state of your bone mass. It's the estimated weight of bone minerals in your body. While this will unlikely undergo noticeable changes, maintaining healthy bones is crucial for your overall health.
By undergoing body composition analysis, you can see your current physique rating, which assesses the muscle and body fat levels in your body. As your activity levels fluctuate, your body fat and muscle mass balance also change—affecting your overall physique.
Basal Metabolic Rate
The minimum daily level of energy or calories a person's body needs when at rest to function efficiently is known as the 'basal metabolic rate' (BMR) and is also included in a body composition analysis. The higher the BMR is, the faster a person can burn calories.
A body composition analysis also lets you find out your 'metabolic age' by comparing your BMR to an average for your particular age group. If your metabolic age is higher than you currently are, this indicates that you need to change your diet and improve your metabolic rate.
Body Mass Index
The most common measurement in body composition is the body mass index (BMI), a standardized ratio of weight to height—and often used as the 'general' indicator of a person's health.
Measuring Body Composition
There are multiple ways a chiropractor can perform a body composition analysis, and these include:
Bioelectrical Impedance - This method lets you perform body composition analysis using body fat scales that have the same function as a regular 'scale' but measures more than just fat, including water and lean tissue weight.
Skinfold Measurements - This method is typically used by fitness trainers and usually part of a weight loss program, using calipers at different parts of the body—resulting in calculations that translate into body fat percentage.
DEXA Scan - Also known as dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan, is often performed in medical settings, doubling as a test for bone density.
Hydrostatic Weighing - This method requires a person to be fully submerged in water and is considered the 'gold standard' for body fat measurement.
Regardless of the method used in performing the body composition analysis, each one can help professionals create treatment plans that can help you achieve a healthier composition, possibly treating underlying conditions caused by an unhealthy weight. These include arthritis and back pain due to excess pressure on the back.
Why Change Your Body Composition?
If you have a body fat percentage that's too high, it's best to decrease it to improve your overall health, physical performance, and wellbeing. However, if you have a body fat percentage that's below the essential fat level, you'll need to bump it higher to reduce your health risks as well. You can change your body composition by working with a Conway chiropractor and nutritionist, creating a diet plan that'll ensure better health and wellbeing long-term.
Getting an accurate body composition analysis is a crucial part of life’s five essentials, particularly nutrition. Our team at Beard Family Chiropractic gives a thorough assessment of your body—providing accurate results, helping them create a detailed and tailored treatment plan. Each of our team members lives by the five essentials of life, serving a 'special role' in helping you achieve optimal health and wellness.