Body fat is typically perceived to be unhealthy, and excess body fat can increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Leanness, on the other hand, is celebrated as healthy and beautiful.
Rarely do we stop to consider how lean is too lean. The svelte bodies of Instagram models may appeal to our socially constructed perceptions of beauty, but could that six-pack have negative implications for health and longevity?
There are a number of important reasons to have a healthy amount of body fat, including:
- Protection of internal organs from trauma
- Energy storage and fuel source
- Hormone regulation and fertility
- Insulation to maintain body temperature
- Immune function
- Healthy skin and hair
- Storage of toxins
Having an essential amount of body fat is critical for the body to function normally.
So how much body fat is actually healthy?
The answer, as always, is it depends on the individual. The uncomfortable truth is that more often than not, the golden percentage is higher than showcased by the bodies selling diet books.
OPEX Coaches work with their clients to craft a lifestyle and movement that supports living long and prospering. A healthy body fat percentage is a byproduct of adhering to the following:
- Managing stress and rest throughout the day
- Sleeping 8 hours and honoring circadian rhythm by going to bed and waking up at consistent times
- Getting sun exposure daily
- Drinking ½ your body weight in ounces of water
- Chewing your food and eating mindfully
- Eating foods that support good digestion
- Moving in some way, every day
- Doing resistance training with the intent to gain lean mass
- Finding your purpose in life and living it!
In OPEX Gyms, we’re selling health, not what’s sexy. If you are truly honoring the simple practices listed above, your body fat percentage will align with what is needed for you to live long and prosper.