Monthly Archives: September 2012

Is BMI the Best Health Indicator?

BMI (body mass index) has become a universally accepted means to measure one’s body-fat percentage.  While measuring one’s BMI is a good starting point for most, the problem lies in the fact that it does not actually measure body-fat or muscle mass rather it only takes a ratio of weight versus height.

A perfectly healthy person can have a BMI of 30 which means this person is obese.  Even someone with a low BMI can have a high percentage of body fat.  Relying solely on BMI results in the false conclusion that someone with high muscle mass is fat and someone with low muscle mass but maybe a high body fat percentage is healthy.

So what is the best way to determine your health status?  It is important to know your full body composition since BMI only measures height versus weight.   Simple procedures like skinfold measurements with calipers or circumference measurements can help assist you in determining your body fat percentage.  Most gym’s should have these tools available and trainers should be qualified make these measurements.  There are other ways to determine body composition that require a little more science but are more accurate.  Bioelectrical Impedance measures body composition by sending a current of electricity through your body.  This electric current (which is harmless) calculates body fat since the current flows easily through water (blood, urine, muscle) then it will through bone or fat.  These measurements are then combined with other factors like age, weight and height.  The most accurate method of measuring body composition is Hydrostatic (Underwater) Body Fat Testing.  This method requires one to be weighed in the water, separating the less dense (body fat) from the more dense (bones, muscles & connective tissue) parts of the body.  The higher the body fat percentage, the easier one will float in the water since it is less dense.  Hydrostatic Testing is usually done in labs but are available to the public with a fee.

There are many methods out there to confirm one’s body composition other than BMI.  Do not be afraid to build muscle just because it means there may not be significant weight loss.  Muscle is by far healthier than fat.  It burns more calories, strengthens bones and lowers the risk for chronic disease and injury.  Having a high or low BMI is just a platform when it comes to health.

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End of Summer Giveaway

The sun setting in Estes, Park Colorado during the last week of summer

Can you believe the summer is already over?!  Neither can we!

As the seasons change, it is the perfect opportunity to set new goals and to look back on goals achieved.  This past summer we challenged ourselves to get healthier by being more active and eating cleaner.  I for instance, purchased a new mountain bike to increase my cardio.  I also started using my Body Bar Flex regularly especially if I decided I would rather come straight home after work instead of going to the gym.  Everyone at the office started bringing their own lunches to work (although we will admit we occasionally splurged on some all natural sandwiches from across the street).  Overall, summer at Body Bar Inc. was a very active and healthy one.

But we want to know what YOU did over the summer and what goals you achieved whether it was to climb your first 14er, run a 5K, increase your muscle mass or even just start working out 3 times a week.  We want to hear your story!  Post your story on our Facebook Page and you could win* a FREE Body Bar Flex!

 

*Contest ends on September 24, 2012.  Must reside in the United States to be eligible for prize

Body Bar Monday Move with BOSU

Balance is key!

Adding an unstable environment to an exercise is the perfect solution to burn more calories during a workout and really engage your core.  You’ll notice that it will take more effort and sweat to perform a simple move on a BOSU that a stable surface.

As with any exercise, form is critical!  Engage your core and stand/sit tall.  This will prevent injury and guarantee that your muscles are form correctly.

Below are two exercises that we love because the work on some trouble areas like the lower back, obliques and abs.

Paddling on a BOSU

0507_paddling_bosu

Grab a 9-18lb Body Bar and sit in the center of the BOSU with your legs extended in front of you, knees slightly bent.  Put one leg in front of the other (for less stability).  Lean back to about 45 degrees, contracting your abs to keep yourself stable.  Holding the Body Bar in front of you with both hands shoulder-width apart, begin making paddling motions by dipping the bar to your left and then right, in a figure 8 pattern.    Perform 10 times on each side, that is one set.

Advance: bring yours legs off the ground, forming a v-shape with your body while performing the rowing motion.

Dive and Roll

Place your Body Bar two feet in front of a Bosu.  Lie face down with your hips and belly on the Bosu, feet hip-width apart on the floor. Place your palms on the bar and lift your legs as high as possible (A). Slowly roll the Body Bar toward the Bosu as you lower your legs toward the floor (B). Roll back to start. That’s one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps

Below is a video we just have to share from the USA Swimming Organization.  This workout will engage all of your muscles!

If you would like some more Body Bar exercises with the BOSU, Body Bar offers two great videos with full Body Bar/BOSU workouts.  Visit the links below for more information :

http://www.bodybar.com/Body-Bar-Store/DVDs/Burn-DVD

http://www.bodybar.com/Body-Bar-Store/DVDs/Explode-DVD