The dangers of carrying around extra body fat isn't just limited to an unwanted spare tire, back fat and thighs that never see the light of day, excessive body fat can wreck havoc on your entire system. What is "too much" body fat? Well, depending on who you ask you may get differetn answers; but general percentages that I agree with look something like this:
Now there are many methods in taking your body fat measurements.
#1 DXA Scan (Dual-emission X-ray absorptiometry) This is a great way to accuratley measure a persons body fat and bone density using a dual x-ray.
#2 Bioelectrical impedance (what we use at No Bull) Can be slightly flawed but it's quick, east to perform and gives us a good base line.
#3 Underwater weighing (also known as hydrostatic weighing) - This may be the most accurate if you have the money and the option.
#4 Skinfold caliper testing - This is something I used for years and after much conisderation, I realized that many of my female clientel were very uncomfortable with someone "pinching their fat areas". But this can be a good choice because it's easy to learn and cheap to buy.
After you determine your body fat you can make a plan of attack. Nothing is shown to melt fat off of your body while increasing bone density and increasing lean body mass better than Weight Training. The scale can be a tricky way to determine health, when it comes down to it; your body fat and strength in the gym will be a better indicator of over all health.
The biggest problems with carrying around excess body fat is a super LONG list, so I will limit it to a few:
Excessive Body Fat (especially around the mid-section) has direct links to:
High Blood Pressure
Besides all the major Killers above, excessive body fat does damage in many other ways to your psychie:
Low Sex Drive
Lack of Motivation
Inproper use of your body (sitting around)
Make you more likey to pass by opportunities for fear of failing
Etc. (I could go on but you get the point)
Annual Doctor check ups are frightening, but very neccessary - At least get your blood work done once a year to ensure you're good to go. A few other things to look out for when assessing your overall health are:
Waist Circumferance: >35 Inches in Women = Danger / >40 Inches in Men = Danger
High Triglycerides: Fasting Blood Work: >150 (mg/dl) or Higher
Low HDL (good cholesterol): <40 (mg/dl) in Men = Danger / <50 (mg/dl) in Women = Danger
High Blood Pressure: >130 (systolic) or >85 (diastolic) = Danger
High Blood Sugar: Normal = 60-100 (fasting) - >100 Fasting = Danger (pre-diabetic)
* These numbers are GENERAL - Talk to your doctor to see what's right for you!!
Findng out where you currently are is vital in fixing any issues - Go to the doctor annually for a check up and blood work, lift weights 4-6 Days a week and eat pretty well most of the time. Setting a monthly goals is vital and will keep your eye on staying healthy. By chosing not to lift weights, workout, run, eat pretty clean and sleep well, you're really chosing to die younger and lose quality of life - We have the choice, choose wisely!
Continually challenge your self with something that you've never done before: Do a Mud Run - Jog a mile (and time it) - Take a Bike Ride and go until your legs are jello - Try to see how Strong you are by assessing Your 1 RM Dead Lift, Squat or Bench (if you're a lifter) once or twice a year - Try fasting ALL day 1 x a year (it's a great mental toughness challenge) - Sit quietly for a lengthened amount of time (it's enlightening) - DO IT!!