Just starting out?
If you’re just beginning a diet or fitness programme, this is the perfect time for a DEXA scan, the best way to measure body fat. It’ll tell you to the gram how much fat and lean mass you're carrying on your arms, legs and trunk region.
If you think you want to lose weight, think again! What you really want to lose is fat. But if you don’t know how much fat and muscle you have now, you’ll have no idea of what to aim for or how to get there.
Numbers you can work with
Standing on a set of scales tells you nothing more than your relationship with gravity, while your BMI (body mass index) gives no information about body composition.
In contrast, a Bodyscan DEXA report gives you meaningful data based purely on the amount and distribution of fat and lean mass in your body. For example, if your A/G (android/gynoid) fat is too high it means you're potentially carrying too much fat in your trunk and around your organs, which is a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.
Another important number is your Lean Mass Index (LMI). This gives us a very good indication of how much muscle you're carrying. An LMI above 19 for men and 14 for women is a good number.
Your Bodyscan DEXA report will also rank your fat and lean results against a UK population of more than 2000 Bodyscan clients. A body fat ranking of 72, for example, means you have a higher body fat percentage than 72% of people your age, sex and ethnicity.
It's better to have low rankings on fat indices and high rankings on lean ones.
Sticking at it
Keeping motivated is the single biggest obstacle to sticking with a fitness regimen – and Bodyscan can be the greatest motivator you’ll ever have.
When you see your fat going down and your muscle increasing, you’ll have renewed vigour. And if Bodyscan shows you’re off track, you can fine-tune your programme – or find another personal trainer.
At the far end of the scale, if you’re a bodybuilder, marathon runner, triathlete or professional athlete you’ll be fixated on your performance and body composition. Only Bodyscan provides the precise information a fitness obsessive like you demands. Keep reading to see the benefits for you.
DEXA Benefits if you're serious about your sport
Target the optimum range of body fat for a specific sport
A number of studies have identified optimum and actual ranges of body fat for individual sports, which differ from those recommended for the general population. For example, at competition time, male bodybuilders will aim for below 10% body fat. Runners typically have around 12% body fat, cyclists around 8-10% and swimmers at 12-15%. For anyone looking to improve their performance in a particular sport or activity, DEXA scans can accurately measure their progress and improvement to achieving the optimum body composition target for their chosen sport.
Diet and exercise regimen – establish and confirm
An initial DEXA scan provides an accurate picture of body composition, enabling you or your coach to design a fitness and macronutrient regimen based on increasing muscle, decreasing fat or both. Subsequent scans provide trend data – an accurate measure of progress to confirm and validate your training programme.
Balance and symmetry
Many sports, such as swimming, cycling and bodybuilding require equal strength or muscle size on both sides of the body. By measuring lean mass and body fat in each region of the body (arms, legs, trunk) as well as selected sub-regions (eg, belly, thigh, forearm), an athlete can work towards correcting imbalances in body composition that may slow or block improvements in performance. DEXA is the only method to conveniently and accurately provide the regional body composition data.
Improve speed of rehabilitation
When injured and out of action, sports players invariably gain fat and lose muscle. A DEXA scan will accurately monitor these changes and enable an informed rehab programme of diet and exercise to repair your muscle imbalance.
At all levels of sport, athletes seek motivation, either from within, from teammates or from coaches and instructors. Particularly for those without professional coaches, unequivocal improvements in body composition as recorded by DEXA can maintain motivation levels even when other measures, such as a skinfold test, may misrepresent the true picture. For females in particular, who naturally carry a higher proportion of fat, a DEXA scan can provide reassurance that any weight gain is proportional and not just of fat.