dexa scan for body weight composition and visceral fat scans in Okanagan valley

Body Composition: Why You Should Care

When people want to track their health, they usually step on a scale. However, while monitoring your weight can be helpful, it is not the most accurate measure of health and fitness progress.

Body composition measurement looks beyond weight to determine body fat distribution. Having a precise measurement of body composition provides valuable information for monitoring your overall health.

If you are still not convinced, here are 3 main reasons why you should be caring about your body composition.

Body Weight vs. Body Composition

Before we begin, it is important to differentiate between body weight and body composition, as it is quite common for individuals to confuse them.

Body weight simply refers to your body’s total mass. Body composition, however, determines what your weight is made of – that is, the amount of muscle, bone, water, and fat in your body.

3 Reasons to Care About Body Composition

1. Provides a Clear Picture of Your Health

A healthy body composition consists of a lower percentage of body fat and a higher percentage of non-fat mass, which includes muscle, organs, and bones.

Having a healthy balance between fat and muscle in your body is crucial to staying healthy throughout the course of your life. Studies have shown that having a healthy body composition can increase your lifespan while reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Healthy Body Fat Percentage

Body composition allows us to determine whether our body fat percentage is in a healthy range. The healthy ranges for men and women are:

  • Men: 10-20 percent
  • Women: 18-28 percent

2. Increases Your Lifespan

Your body composition can give you a clear picture of your overall health. This is important because while we may think that we are healthy because we weigh a certain amount, body weight is not enough to determine our state of health.

For instance, an individual can be in a healthy weight range, but have a very sedentary lifestyle. This is problematic because a lack of exercise can lead to health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

3. Helps Determine the Right Exercises For You

Fitness is not one size fits all – it is personal and different for each individual. Having a clear understanding of the amount of fat and muscle in each limb will help you choose the right approach to exercise that is good for you.

For example:

  • Someone with a higher amount of body fat and an average muscle mass is more likely to do workouts that get their heart rate up. This could include a workout with lower weights and higher repetitions, or even incorporate more cardio.
  • On the other hand, someone with a lower muscle mass and an average fat percentage is more likely to do workouts that are more focused on building strength (heavier weights with less repetitions).

Advanced Body Composition Assessment with DXA Scan

At DexaCan, we offer our patients an advanced body composition assessment with a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry - or in other words, a DXA scan.

The DXA scan provides information about your bone health, body fat, and muscle mass. This advanced diagnostic tool can:

  • Evaluate your levels of physical fitness
  • Assess your risk for developing osteoporotic fractures
  • Deliver precise measurements of segmental body fat and muscle distribution

For more information, call us today or request an appointment online.