If you’ve ever tried to lose weight or gain muscle, you know that the scale only sometimes tells the whole story. Body weight can fluctuate due to many factors, including water retention and muscle mass. That’s where body composition scans come in. These scans provide a more detailed look at your body composition, including fat percentage, muscle mass, and bone density. This article will explore the body composition scan and how it can help you reach your fitness goals.
What are Body Composition Scans?
Body composition scans use advanced technology to measure the amount of fat, muscle, and bone in your body. The most common type is a DEXA scan (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry). DEXA scans are typically used to measure bone density and provide information on body composition, such as the amount of fat and lean tissue in the body. The x-rays are absorbed differently by fat, muscle, and bone, allowing the machine to create a detailed image of your body composition.
Other body composition scans include bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), which uses a small electrical current to measure body fat, and air displacement plethysmography (ADP), which measures body volume using air displacement.
The results of body composition scans are typically presented in a report that shows your body fat percentage, muscle mass, and bone density. Some reports may include information on your visceral fat (fat surrounding your internal organs) and basal metabolic rate (the number of calories your body burns at rest).
How Can Body Composition Scans Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals?
Body composition scans can be a valuable tool if you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or improve your overall health. Here are some ways that these scans can help you reach your fitness goals:
Track Progress More Accurately Than the Scale
As mentioned earlier, body weight can fluctuate due to many factors, including water retention and muscle mass. This can make it difficult to accurately track your progress when trying to lose weight or gain muscle. On the other hand, body composition scans provide a more detailed look at your body composition and can show you exactly how much fat and muscle you’ve gained or lost.
Set Realistic Goals
By knowing your body composition, you can set more realistic goals. For example, if you have a high body fat percentage, you may need to focus more on losing fat than gaining muscle. If you have a low muscle mass, you may need to focus more on strength training. By understanding your body composition, you can set goals specific to your body type and more achievable.
Identify Health Risks
High body fat percentage has been linked to several health risks, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Body composition scans can help identify these risks and provide a baseline for tracking changes. If your body fat percentage is high, your healthcare provider may recommend lifestyle changes to help reduce your risk of these health problems.
Optimise Your Workouts
Knowing your body composition allows you to tailor your workouts to your specific needs. For example, you may need to focus on strength training to build muscle if you have a low muscle mass. If you have a high body fat percentage, you may need to focus on cardiovascular exercise to burn fat. By understanding your body composition, you can optimise your workouts and maximise your time at the gym.
One of the biggest challenges of reaching your fitness goals is staying motivated. Body composition scans can provide a tangible way to track your progress and see the results of your hard work. Seeing a decrease in your body fat percentage or an increase in your muscle mass can be a powerful motivator to keep going.
Body composition scans are valuable for anyone looking to improve their health and fitness. If you want a body composition scan, talk to your healthcare provider or a fitness professional to learn more about your options. With the right tools and guidance, you can reach your fitness goals and achieve a healthier, happier you.
Alison Lurie is a farmer of words in the field of creativity. She is an experienced independent content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry. She is a multi-niche content chef who loves cooking new things.