In a previous article, I wrote on body composition but solely on a chemical point of view and as such, the emphasis was on the various chemical elements that make up the human and at approximately what percentage each.
Researches have shown that the main elements that mainly make up the body mass are eleven in total; and of all of them, magnesium is the least common. The rest of the elements are called trace elements due to their very low concentration presence in the human body.In this article I am going to gear our attention toward body composition in physical fitness.
What is the body made of in physical fitness?
According to some sources, in physical fitness, ‘body composition’ is a compound term used to describe the percentages of fat, bone, water and muscle the human body is made of.
Although not wrong, this definition is very simplistic and leaves out some important details. The average human body is approximately made up of 60% of water, 17% of fat, 5% of minerals and 17 % of protein. The remaining 1% is of carbohydrates.
Minerals are primarily stored in two places : in blood and bone streams. Although protein comprises a similar proportion of the body as fat at 17%, protein can be divided into three functional streams which are : muscle protein, visceral(abdominal organs) protein, plasma proteins&plasma acids. Of all these three proteins, muscle mass is the largest and this is the one we are going to focus on.
Too much of each of these components is not good for a person’s health, there has got to be balance. As the above proportions indicate, the fat tissue takes up more space in the body than the muscular tissue. Two individuals of the same sex can be of the same weight but with different physical appearance because their body composition is different. One might have more muscle or more fat than the other but everything comes to the same weight. Thus what determines whether a person is lean or fat is their body composition as well as their weight.
Two people can have the same weight and have different physical appearance due to their body composition.
Fat, Muscle, Bone and Water
There is a lot of negative buzz around the word ‘fat’ but contrary to what the average person might think or have believed, fat is an organ that is as essential as the liver or the heart to the human body.
The problem is not fat but the excess of fat.Fat excess has been linked to so many health issues such as obesity. Obesity is when a person’s weight is higher than what is considered healthy for their height. Obesity related health problems are but not limited to : high blood pressure, cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, respiratory problems, gallbladder disease, hypertension, and many other health issues. Deficiency in fat is equally as bad. One needs to keep the fat level balanced. In subsequent articles we’ll talk more on this.
Muscles are bundles of cells called fibers. The muscular system is made up of over 600 muscles. The primary purpose of the muscular system is to provide movement for the body; these muscles receive their ability to move through the nervous system.
Consuming a balanced diet and exercising regularly keeps our muscles strong and healthy. On the other hand, a poor diet and prolonged physical inactivity weaken the muscles and may result in many health issues. Researches have demonstrated in the past years that physical inactivity is the major risk factor for lifestyle diseases around the globe and kills close to 5 million persons globally each year as much as smoking.
Bone and Water
The bones may seem dried up and austere but this is just in appearance . Actually, bones are as dynamic as any other organ of the body; they are made of active connective tissue that is constantly regenerating and repairing itself throughout its lifetime. The bones do much more than providing support to organs and muscles as well as the ability to move around.
They are the storage source of calcium, phosphate and several minerals needed to keep the neurons firing and muscles contractions. Bones play a crucial role in the production of blood cell and much more we won’t cover in this article.
Water on the other hand, is the most abundant element in the human body. Researches show that the body of an adult male contains 60% of water, and about 52% for women since women have higher percentage of body fat. The body of a new born is composed of up to 75% of water whereas an elderly person’s is 50%. Fat, muscles, blood and other bodily fluids contain water.
Water is a critical part of our life, a vital nutrient to the life of every cell. It regulates the body temperature, helps in flushing waste and many other important functions in the body. This water is distributed throughout body parts, organs and fluids.
Body composition isn’t a constant, it can vary based on lifestyle and diet. We can improve our fitness level based on the choices we make on a daily basis.
Quality food intake, proper stress and sleep management, physical exercising, controlled fat and carbohydrates intakes, etc. these are some of the measures towards a healthy body composition to helping improve a person’s life quality.
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