Being physically fit is essential for leading a good life. There are five main components of physical fitness, which include cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. The term 'body composition' is used to describe the percentages of bone, fat, and muscle mass in the body. It is the ratio of fat-free mass to fat tissue. The muscles in the body take less space in our body compared to the fat tissue. It is possible that two people with same body weight and height look completely different from each other. A person with less fat would appear leaner. To be physically fit, one must have more lean muscle than fat tissue.
Body Composition Analysis
Body composition takes into account the body's type (male or female), the height, the weight, frame, size, and the proportion of the fat mass compared to the lean muscle mass. The analysis can be done in several ways. The most common method is using a set of measurement calipers to measure the thickness of subcutaneous fat in different body parts like abs, arms, buttocks, and thighs. These measurements help determine the total body fat.
One of the excellent ways to assess the body composition is hydrostatic weighing, which is also known as underwater weighing. In this method, the body is weighed in a specially designed underwater tank. If more body fat is present, then the body floats, and weighs less in water. When this method is followed properly, it gives accurate results.
Exercises for Improving Body Composition
Different exercises provide different benefits. If a person is obese or overweight, then he/she should opt for exercises which burn the most amount of calories. If you have a medium frame, and wish to lose weight and build lean muscles, then stick to exercises which help build lean muscles. If you wish to put on muscle mass, then you should focus on weight training exercises that help build muscle weight.
Exercises to Lose Weight
Skipping with a jump rope and working out on an elliptical trainer would certainly help burn calories. Skipping is easy to perform, and doesn't require any expensive fitness equipment. All you need is a jump rope and some floor space, and you can do skipping workouts easily. Skipping helps burn many calories in a short period of time; it helps burn calories faster than running. Elliptical machine workout is also a good option for losing weight, as one needs to use the legs and/or arms on an elliptical trainer.
Exercises to Build Lean Muscles
Two great exercises to build lean muscles are swimming and aerobics. Swimming is a great cardio workout. Swimming regularly would help build lean muscles and improve flexibility. Step aerobics workout would also help you lose weight and build lean muscles.
Workouts for Bodybuilding
If you wish to build muscles, then you should perform weight training exercises. It is important that you focus on weight training for all the muscle groups. Many people concentrate only on chest muscles, and ignore leg muscles, which gives a disproportionate look. Examples of weight training exercises include push ups, press ups, dead lifts, lunges, squats, bench press, etc.
Excess fat certainly has an adverse effect on one's appearance and health. Thus, follow a workout routine to improve your body composition. Also, follow a healthy diet, and avoid food items that are rich in fat.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.