Why Your Body Fat Percentage Really Matters
By Genevieve Cunningham
In recent years, people have begun to talk about an important part of fitness, body fat percentage. With a special tool that most fitness professionals possess, you can determine an approximation of just how much body fat you have on your frame. But why does this matter? Is body fat a true indication of your fitness and health level? Or is it just another way to coax you into the gym? Take a look at why body fat matters, and what you can do to get the perfect percentage for your frame.
Body Fat Hides Your Muscles
Let’s start with the physical appearance aspect of body fat first. We all want to look good! And whether you realize it or not, your body fat percentage has a big role in that. The higher your body fat, the softer and less defined your muscles will look. Should you go crazy overboard and eliminate all fat? No way! We need a little fat to look good, but we should definitely keep track of how much fat that really is.
Body Fat Can Be an Indication of Risk of Disease
Another reason to pay attention to body fat is because too much fat raises your risk of certain diseases. Heart disease, diabetes, and even certain kinds of cancer are thought to be linked to excessive body fat percentages. If you get yours checked and it’s too high, it might be beneficial to lower your percentages in order to lower your risk of serious disease.
How Do You Lower Body Fat?
So how do you know what’s healthy for your frame? There are charts available at local gyms as well as online that give you an idea of appropriate body fat percentages for your height and bone structure. In general, healthy body fat for women ranges between 20 and 25 percent, while men’s body fat percentage should be between 15 and 20 percent. If you want to lower your body fat, focus on regular exercise and a healthy, well-balanced diet. Creating a caloric deficit will help you burn off the fat and get you closer to your fitness goals.
Does body fat percentage matter? In the grand scheme of things, absolutely yes. While a difference of one percent may not be of much importance, knowing whether you’re covered in too much fat or not enough fat can help you gauge your health long-term. Get to a gym to learn about your percentage, do some research, and work toward the optimal body fat percentage for your frame using these tips.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.