Friday, February 18, 2011

Body Fat Percentages

Yesterday was fun! I ventured on over to one of the local colleges to represent my gym at a health fair. I wore my trainer shirt and brought along the Omron fat loss monitor at right. (I opted to leave my intimidating skinfold calipers in my box at the gym.) It turned out to be a really great event. Not only was I able to create some awareness for the gym, I met some cool people—and sampled a very healthy lunch. (You know I love me some healthy food.)

It's funny, some people were really geeked about knowing their body fat. Others...not so much. And I don't blame them. It can be a very touchy subject. That's why I never push it on my clients. I strongly recommend it, but I never push it. Usually they come around. It is, after all, great motivation and an excellent way to judge progress. Do you know what your body fat percentage is? Every gym, even your doctor, should be able to assess it for you. When you have your number, you can see where you fall on the body fat percentage scale. It generally looks something like this:

Well, maybe not EXACTLY like that. But the numbers should match. After all, my handy dandy cheat sheet isn't mass produced. Giggle. Anyways...

You can even buy a scale that will assess your body fat percentage. My parents own the model at right. (You can find it at Bed, Bath & Beyond.) I like that it assesses a number of different things, although sometimes I think your body fat percentage is the most important. Think about it: If you're trying to lose weight, you probably want to shed fat. When you strength train, you shed fat and gain muscle. And muscle weighs more than fat. Which means what? That number on the scale might drop a few, then level out as a result. But your body fat percentage should, if all is going well, continue decreasing.

Speaking of decreasing, I'm about to knock a few more continuing education units off my requirement for the year as I've just ordered a course that focuses on foam rolling. I don't know much about it, though I've played with our foam roller at the gym. As luck would have it, my course comes complete with a set of five foam rollers. Assuming I learn everything I'm supposed to, I will have the ability to "recognize postural limitations that can be addressed by using the foam roller," "outline a program of foam roller exercises for flexibility, trunk stabilization, and balance training," and "explain diaphragmatic breathing." Oh, and—I'll learn about "autogenic inhibition."

Sounds crazy. I'm excited. (Happy Friday!)

Question: How does your place of employment encourage healthy living? Are you intimidated by your body fat percentage? Why or why not?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

My school encourages health by placing my classroom on the 3 floor. In an average day I climb all 3 flights 10 times. Some days it feels like 20. Oh, and I typically run up them as there is never enough time in the day!

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