By: Nikki Nies
Last year ,I helped at a supermarket nutrition activity, where I manned the table that included fat and muscle models. Children were first asked to guess what they thought the models were. Muscle was easier to identify. After squirming over the “eww” factor of what fat looked liked, a lot of the children guessed it was an old crystal. To their defense, children probably haven’t seen these models before. However, I’m going to make an assumption the average American hasn’t seen these models as well.
One’s body composition is composed of different tissues: lean tissues (muscle, bone, and organs) that are metabolically active, and fat (adipose) tissue that are not metabolically active.
One’s body fat percentage can be determined through hydrostatic weighing, bioelectrical impedence and/or skinfold caliber measurements.Muscle is 18% denser than fat, which means with more muscle, it will take up less room on the body and one will appear leaner.
Benefits of increased muscle mass:
Reduced risk of injury
- Improved flexibility and mobility
- Increased energy and vitality
- Increased metabolism
- Improved blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity
- Improved athletic performance
- Increased lean body mass
To gain more muscle, the best treatment is to get moving. I’m not saying to start training for a marathon, but small changes can make a world of difference. Check out previous post: Every Minute of Exercise Counts for suggestions on how to get moving and What’s the Fat About? on the breakdown of fat content for men and women.