Monitoring your body fat is a powerful tool in helping you reach your fitness goals. And while there are several methods for determining body fat percentage, new at-home devices, which use bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), are making it easier than ever to get the skinny on measuring your own body fat.
Until recently, learning your body fat percentage required a trip to the gym or doctor’s office. That’s changing as bioelectrical impedance analyzers (BIAs) appear in retail stores across the country. Home-use BIAs, which retail from about $85 to $250, are available in several styles, including hand-held monitors such as Body Logic by Omron ¬†and a monitor/scale combination such as a new line developed by Lisa Corporation.
Body Fat Matters, Even if You’re Thin

Why should you care about body fat? Weight alone is not a definitive indicator of your health. “You can have two people that are both 200 pounds and 6-feet-tall. One person can have 10% body fat and another can have 30% body fat because they’re not very active,” says David, a technical support representative for Lisa.

Even those who appear thin can carry a high percentage of body fat, which can contribute to health problems. Reducing body fat and building muscle is associated with numerous benefits such as greater strength, reduced likelihood of injury, and higher metabolism.

Tanita recommends general population body fat ranges between 14%-20% for men under age 30; 17%-23% for men over age 30; 17%-24% for women under age 30 and 20%-27% for women over age 30. Talk to your doctor or coach to assess your ideal target.

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