When it comes to body composition, measuring is performed on waist circumference and skin-fold testing. Skin-fold testing uses a hand-held caliper. Numerous sites on the body are pinched with the caliper to measure the amount of subcutaneous fat you have. These measurements are then averaged and put into an equation to determine your body fat. If you do not like the invasive nature of measuring, you can stick with a hand-held body fat analyzer. This requires a little prep work.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Hand-help body fat analyzer
Step onto a bathroom scale first thing in the morning. Roll out of bed, use the bathroom and strip down to your underwear. Get on the scale and commit your weight to memory.
Turn on your analyzer. Hit the "On/Off" button and wait for the screen to come on. Input the information it asks for as accurately as possible. It will ask for your height, weight, gender, activity level and age.
Grip the galvanised handles firmly and get into position to have your body fat percentage read. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and extend your arms straight in front of your body. Press the "Start" button with your thumb, then place it back on the analyzer and wait for about seven seconds. Your body fat percentage will appear on the screen, along with your body mass index. Body mass index, or BMI, is another indicator of body fatness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Compare your body fat to see where you rank. The average range for women is 25 to 31 per cent and the average for men is 18 to 24 per cent, according to the American Council on Exercise. A goal BMI is 18.5 to 24.9 for both men and women, reports the CDC.
Tips and warnings
- You can get a body fat analyzer online or in a sporting goods store that specialises in fitness equipment.
- Multiple factors can affect your body fat percentage reading, such as food, caffeine, exercise and water intake. Your best bet is to check your body fat first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
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