January 1, 2013

Body weight not always the whole story

The new year is here and fitness facilities are packed again.

Like clockwork, everyone begins the new year with at least one resolution.

Many of those who are found in the gym during this time of year fail to reach their fitness goals simply because they are not focusing on what is really important. If your resolution is about losing weight, I challenge you to think about it differently.

Focus on your body fat percentage. By doing this, you will be looking at what really matters when it comes to both looking and feeling good.

To get your body fat percentage, you need to ask a professional to assess it for you. You may be able to find scales that will show it electronically, but the best and most accurate way to assess this is by using calipers.

If you are lucky enough to have a facility that uses hydrostatic body fat testing (a test that literally submerges you in water to measure your body fat), this is classified as the golden standard for measuring body fat. Alternatively, when a professional takes your body fat using calipers, they will use a device that will measure the thickness of a pinch of skin at several locations.

These measurements will be plugged into a formula that is used to figure out your estimated body fat percentage.

What does this number mean? It’s actually quite simple; it’s the percentage of fat on your body.

Now don’t panic, as many do when they see their percentage figure, because your body is actually supposed to be composed of a certain amount of fat. This amount varies between populations based on age and sex. Obviously, if you are outside of the healthy range, you are going to want to address this issue as part of your yearly fitness goals.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for sustainability

    Conserving the land and assuring long-term profitability are two of the key goals for farmers these days, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns
Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time