People are obsessed with their image, whether its the latest fashion or their hair, people generally want to look good all the time. Part of this image for some people is maintaining low body fat. Of course we all like this look and it is hard to achieve this without sacrifice in our diets, but I think that people do not realize all the health benefits of having, and keeping a low body fat percentage.
Health Canada states that a normal body mass index should be between 18.5-24.9%, which my personal opinion does not work for all body types, like a professional bodybuilder may be overweight on the BMI chart according to his height, but actually has very little body fat or for someone like me who is very petite and the BMI chart states that I am underweight.
Other statistics show that men should maintain a body fat percentage of 15% or less and women should be 25% or less. Personally I find for women 25% is still on the high side because since we carry more body fat, we are at risk for breast cancer and heart disease.
One of the biggest health benefits from a low body fat percentage is probably the reduced risk of heart problems. Statistics clearly reveal that most of the people suffering from heart problems have a higher percentage of body fat.
Studies have shown that people with more fat around their abdomen are more likely to suffer from Type 2 Diabetes than those with less body fat around the waist. So it really is important to work on that six pack abs after all including heavy weight training, healthy eating and cardiovascular exercises.
Low body fat also reduces the risk of Sleep Apnea, which causes shortness of breath and can even lead to heart attacks. So ladies, not only is it annoying that our husbands snore loud, we need to get them in the gym to start working on their health.
There are more and more cases of cancer these days and having low body fat also reduces the risk of various types of cancers such as uterine cancer, cancer of the gallbladder, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and colon cancer in women. In men, chances of colon cancer, prostate cancer, and cancer of the rectum are reduced.
These are good reasons and statistics to keep your health in check. Like I said it is not just about looks, and I always have to remind people these things when they ask why I train so much. Cancer runs in my family and for myself, training hard and eating clean is so very important in my life. Its the little changes that make a big difference in a persons life, like eating out less or only having a treat once or twice per week rather than everyday. We all got to take some responsibility for these little changes for ourselves, and our family to remain as healthy as possible and to live a long and beautiful life :)