Benefits Of Body Scans - 8 Great Health Reasons
The benefits of body scans, also known as body composition analysis, are numerous. There are many reasons for making them part of a health and fitness regime.
Body composition testing has, until the last few years, only been undertaken by elite athletes and bodybuilders preparing for contests. Much of this had to do with either the higher costs of the scans or the availability of reliable, accurate equipment.
Fast forward to 2019. We now have a body composition industry making scans affordable and readily accessible to almost everyone.
Should you join the tide of people investing in their health by having your body composition tested? Absolutely! Here are our top 8 benefits of body scans and why we believe everyone should have them regularly.
1. Body scans motivate you
Regardless of your position on your fitness journey, having accurate body fat and muscle numbers can be a great form of motivation. Whilst the results can be sometimes confronting, body scans can help to push you forward, to help you strive for better results. The InBody 570 and 770 BIA scans provide scores out of 100 providing a tangible and measurable target for you to benchmark your progress against.
2. The BMI is misleading
The body mass index (BMI) is still widely used by many health professionals and in the Weight Loss Industry. The BMI is simply an obesity scale based upon a calculation of your height vs your weight. Without any distinction between muscle, water or body fat in your overall scale weight, this often leads to misdiagnosis of obesity or health. Muscular individuals are often classed as overweight or even obese. At the other end of the spectrum many within the healthy BMI range(18-25) still have unhealthy levels of body fat coupled and low levels of muscle.
3. Skinny Fat
Skinny fat is a term for those who fit within their normal BMI range but have an unhealthy level of body fat. Generally they also have less than normal muscular development. It's often seen in individuals who diet and exercise focused solely on reducing scale weight. This condition can also result from following fad diets and yo-yo dieting. One of the best benefits of body scans is being able to quickly identify if you fall into this category.
4. Your first body scan is a baseline or peg in the sand
Many of our clients prefer to have body composition scans after they've achieved their goals. This is counter-intuitive. As a result, the most common regret we hear from clients is "I wish I had done a test when I started to see how far I've come". Imagine a marathon runner deciding to start recording his running times after 6 months of training. It follows that by creating a baseline, or peg in the sand, you have something to compare your fitness and health to in years to come.
Sarcopenia is age related deterioration of muscle mass. This occurs naturally from the age of 30. Sarcopenia can escalate quicker than normal in individuals who live inactive lifestyles leading to major health issues in their 60's and 70's.
Deterioration of muscle mass can cause reduced mobility and balance issues. This results in bone breaks or fractures from falls often leading to early death. Monitoring muscle mass loss over time via body scans can help reduce the risk of Sarcopenia, especially if early intervention is made.
6. Checking your weight regularly on bathroom scales can do your head in!
Body weight fluctuates. Hourly, daily and weekly. The major reasons for these fluctuations are shifts in body water. This can be influenced by the types of food/drink consumed, hormone levels and even the weather can have an effect.
Weighing yourself daily on bathroom scales will pick up on natural fluctuations of weight. Often these fluctuations can trick you into believing that body fat is the culprit when it's really just water and food.
Having your weight increase overnight after a large carbohydrate meal causes your body to draw in more water, thus you become heavier. This can be a real motivation killer to the average bathroom scale watcher. Instead of the daily bathroom scale routine, try body composition scans every 2-3 months. You'll get a much better appreciation of what is actually going on inside your body.
7. Body Scans can measure the effectiveness and benefit of your diet and exercise.
Accurately measuring body fat and muscle can help manage daily routines. Body scans let you know if any tweaks to your diet or fitness regime are needed. If your goal is to shed body fat, but you start losing muscle instead, it's time to make some changes. You may need to reduce the amount of cardio, increase weights or perhaps eat more food. A body composition test enables you to make educated decisions.
8. Understand and identify health risks.
Visceral fat (toxic fat), is an underlying cause of many health issues. Too much visceral fat can be extremely harmful to your health. It's linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease and even certain cancers. Ongoing body scans not only identify visceral fat levels but also changes made to toxic fat levels over time.
Humans are living longer than ever before thanks to modern medicine. However this growing ageing population is frailer and more effected by obesity related chronic diseases than ever before.
Body composition scans should become an essential tool in your belt if you're serious about health and fitness.