We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Knowledge of your body fat percentage is helpful for keeping it within healthy limits. An excess amount of fat contributes to health complications such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. If you currently participate in an exercise program, you are taking a step in reducing your body fat and improving your health. When measuring your body fat, it is best to use a handheld body fat analyzer before, not after, your workout.
Hand-held fat analyzers are battery-operated devices that are slightly larger than a video-game controller. Also known as BIAs, the bioelectrical impedance analysis device uses a mild electrical current to calculate your body fat. You hold onto the device with both hands. An electrical current passes through one hand, throughout your body and to the other hand. The BIA measures how fast the current travels.
The water in your body is a good electricity conductor, so the current passes quickly when you have a higher amount of fat-free mass, such as muscle. Fat blocks the current so it travels more slowly. The BIA gives your results based on the speed of the traveling current. If you are dehydrated, which often occurs after exercise, your results will be elevated because the water is not readily available to transport the current.
Another factor affecting the results of a BIA after exercise is your body's temperature. When you exercise, your body temperature rises. In 1999, division of kinesiology researchers at Bowling Green State University tested a BIA's response to different body temperatures. The results showed an over-estimate of body fat when body temperatures were hot. If you use your hand-held BIA after exercise, your results may not be accurate due to your increased body temperature.
The hand-held analyzers need consistent conditions for accurate measurements. Choose a time when you are well-hydrated and at a comfortable body temperature when measuring your body fat. Keep in mind that the hand-held device does not tell you where the percentage of fat is located. Also, since it uses fat-free mass such as muscle tissue and water in the calculate, your results may vary. If you have a pacemaker, do not use a BIA device.