Everybody is unique, and that means that every body is unique, too. Which means that your optimal health plan should be unique — tailored to your individual, unique body size and shape.
In clinical terms, this involves a complete understanding of your morphology, or body shape and composition, and metabolism, which is how your body stores and uses energy.
Indicators of morphology
While weight and height are, at best, crude indicators of body shape, we have found that the ratio of waist and hip measurements to chest, shoulders and other measurements can be very useful.
A number of medical studies tell us that fat buildup around the waist is more dangerous than elsewhere in the body. It’s associated with higher incidence of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and other critical illnesses.
One of the most important measurements for your body is the proportion of total body fat. Men require at least 3-5 % body fat, with 8-18% the idea range. Clinical obesity starts at 22% body fat.
For women, the ideal range is 18-25% total body fat; clinical obesity starts at 32%.
Of course, obesity presents a number of health problems, including added stress to joints and skeleton. But at one point, excess body fat can lead to insulin resistance, also known as metabolic syndrome.
Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose, or blood sugar, to enter cells to “burn” as energy. In insulin resistance, cells do not respond normally to insulin, which leads to excess sugar levels in the bloodstream. This in turn leads to formation of new fatty tissue and accelerated weight gain, leading to more strain on the body’s systems, as well as potentially to diabetes and liver disease.
For men, insulin resistance can start to happen at around 29% body fat, and for women at 32%. This is a serious concern that can lead to hypertension, heart disease and even cancer.
At Proactive Wellness Centers, we do more than put a tape measure around your shoulders, chest and waist. We look to find out exactly how much of your total mass is lean, fat and water. We use a range of technologies to give us a full picture of exactly what you’re made of.
One of our most important tools is the InBody 570 body composition analyzer from GE/Inbody. This device looks like the weight scale you would find in most physicians’ offices or at a gym, with extra handles. The handles, however, are electrodes. When you hold the electrodes, the InBody 570 sends a mild electrical current through your body, and measure the impedance (a type of electrical resistance).
In 45 seconds, the device tells us the proportion of total body fat, Fat Mass (FM), and Fat Free Mass (FFM), and water in your body.
This helps us produce a complete picture of you and your health, with the goal of producing a plan for your optimal, lifelong wellness.
Your lifelong wellness plan
Everyone’s body is unique, and that means that everyone should have a wellness plan that is tailored to their unique shape, size and health circumstances. Visit our website to get started on finding your lifelong wellness plan.