As a fitness professional, my primary goal is to help my clients lower their risk for diseases. In this article, I want to talk about the amount of fat you have on your body and how it affects your health.
The more fat you have, the greater your risk for illnesses. Being overweight or obese is a significant hazard. It's a factor in heart disease, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. It's also associated with gall stones, gout, respiratory insufficiency, impaired heat tolerance, congestive heart failure, and injuries like back and knee pain. Fat that is held in the abdomen poses a greater risk than fat in the hips and thighs.
There are two ways to predict your health risks based on the amount of fat you have on your body.
1. Body Mass Index
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a ratio of your height and weight. As shown in the chart above, your BMI will place you into four categories: underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. To find out where you stand, CLICK HERE to use the BMI calculator from the Centers for Disease Control. Two out of every three Americans are either overweight or obese. If you're in these categories, I encourage you to take action immediately to lose enough weight to reach the normal range.
2. Percentage of Body Fat
I calculate the percentage of fat my clients have compared to their overall weight. I do this using calipers which measure the amount of fat. The chart above tells you how your percentage corresponds to health risks. The lower the percentage of fat you have, the lower your risks.
I encourage my clients to be in the lowest health-risk category. Men should have less than 20 percent fat out of their total weight, and women should have less than 27 percent, according to the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. If you don't know your body-fat percentage, please ask me to measure it for you.
How to Lower Your Disease Risk
I encourage you to lower your risk for diseases to the lowest level possible by reducing the amount of fat you have stored on your body. You can accomplish this two ways: you must burn your fat through exercise and by reducing your food intake with smaller portions of lean foods.
If you aren't already a client of mine and would like to improve your health, I invite you to schedule a free introductory consultation.