You may have heard your doctor asking you to check your body composition before the next visit. Or you might have read the phrase in a blog. Alternatively, you might have seen or even stepped on a body composition analyzer previously. But do you know what “body composition means”? Why is it so important for your health? How can you analyze your body composition? If the answer is a “no,” then this is a must-read guide for you.
Decoding the phrase – “body composition”
What is a human body composed of? Well, there are several elements like protein, fat, mineral, and not to mention the most abundant of all elements – water. Hence, body composition might be referred to as a specific method of description of all these elements.
Why does Your Body Composition Mean a Lot to You?
Nowadays, managing your weight is of paramount importance when it comes to treating chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus and heart conditions. Even without any significant medical condition doctors tend to advise patients on keeping their body weight in check. But, maintaining body weight within the acceptable range can be a tough ask, and it gets even more trickier if you do not have knowledge of your body composition. It is like you have a broken car that requires a fix. When you take your car to the mechanic, he will open the hood and examine the engine, check if the tires and exhaust systems are fully functioning or not, examine the fluids, and review the functioning parts. If the mechanic does not have enough knowledge regarding the parts and composition of a car, he will not be able to offer you a solution. Our body weight maintenance is exactly like that. If you do not know the composition of your body and their optimum amounts in healthy individuals, your diet plan or the gym workout might be worthless after all. Previously physicians used to rely on BMI while formulating a weight management plan. But today physicians prefer body composition data since they provide more information regarding a future weight management plan than traditional body mass index valuations.
How to Analyze Body Composition?
Well, fortunately, there are several methods and body composition analyzer available capable of analyzing body composition of an individual. Some of them are rudimentary in nature and can only analyze basic information, while others are more expensive, requires an expert hand to operate the machine, but provides extensive information regarding the body composition. Skinfold calipers and hydrostatic weighing are two simple instruments used in analyzing body composition but they are capable of providing simple and limited information. On the other hand, dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) are costly, require a technician to operate, but provide far greater information than simple analyzers.