By Debbie Dragon
The term “body composition” is often considered one of the best indicators of overall help. It is the percentage of bone, water, muscle, and fat in the body or the ratio or fat mass compared to fat-free mass — and has nothing to do with weight! Body composition is often confused with other acronyms in fitness, commonly BMI (Body Mass Index) and BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). There is a big difference, but each one can be useful when analyzing the other. The ideal body fat percentage is different for men and women. The best body fat for men and women changes with as, whereas BMI does not. Ideal body fat depends on a number of factors, age, gender, and fitness level. The American Council on Exercise recommends:
Men — Essential fat 2.-5%; Athletes 6.-13%; Fitness 14-17%; Average 18-24%; and Obese 25% or higher
Women — Essential fat 10-13%; Athletes 14-20%; Fitness 21-24%; Average 25-31%; and Obese 32% or higher
Measuring body composition instead of BMI is better for people who have more muscle than others, or who want to gain more muscle. Doctors recommend lowering body fat while building muscle mass. There are two types of unhealthy Fat Masses (FM), visceral fat and subcutaneous fat. However, even skinny people can have subcutaneous fat.