With our first of four hydrostatic weighing body composition assessments scheduled, the first taking place on Feb. 5th, some of you may be wondering the purpose for these numbers.  As stated in our Event Blast, body composition is a measurement of fat to lean mass (bones, connective tissue, muscle, organ). While bone, connective tissue and organ weight will remain constant the ratio of lean mass to fat mass can change, which is the ultimate goal.  There are numerous health benefits to decreasing body fat, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes, as well as contributing to better joint health.
There is some discrepancy as to what is considered the ideal body fat percentage, but the overall consensus between heath organizations is the following 5 categories:

Essential Fat is described as the fat needed for the body to function both physically and psychologically without adverse affects.  The Athletes category describes people who routinely engage in sport activities at a high-level either professionally or as an amateur.  The Fitness or healthy levels category describes those who engage in physical activity and exercise on a regular basis.  The Average category is based on the general population.  And the Obese category describes those who run the greatest risk of potential health issues.
While decreases in body fat generally don’t occur rapidly, even a 1% decrease in body fat can have a positive impact on health. Which is why knowing your body fat percent, and where you fall on the chart, can be key to improving your health and helping you create realistic weight loss goals.  Studies have suggested creating goals that are measureable and planned have a greater likely hood for success.  Additionally, checking your goal progress with scheduled measurements for 3, 6 or 9 months will let you know if what you are doing is indeed paying off, or if your action plan needs to be re-evaluated.  If you are considering a weight loss program, get measured. Set a body composition goal and create an action plan to reduce your body fat and improve your lean mass. Your body will thank you.