Pros: Simple to use, Accurate measurements, stores nine profiles
Cons: susceptible to wide fluctuations in the measurements if not used as instructed
How much Fat is really Fat?
Well! If you want an answer for that question first you need to measure your own body fat and then calculate your Body Mass Index [BMI]. You should then compare your value with the standard BMI values to know whether you are really Fat. I am a physician and medical profession involves mainly sedentary work. A sedentary life style is the number one risk factor for cardiac disease and this is mainly because of accumulation of bad cholesterol. The only way I can negate this risk is by sensing the accumulated excess fat early and by immediately getting rid of it by entering a strenuous aerobic schedule. So, in order to find out the amount of excess fat in my body I selected a Omron Body Fat Analyzer and it has been helping me for the past one year. I found it reliable and worth its price.
I would like to share with you some information regarding the Cholesterol so that you can appreciate the benefits of Fat-monitoring and Exercise therapy. Not all Fat in the body is bad. We, in fact need fat to ensure an uninterrupted functioning of our body mechanisms. Fat, when burnt releases the maximum amount of energy and this is especially useful to generate heat in winters so that we can combat cold. Fat helps in absorption of various vitamins from our stomach. So, Fat must be included in our daily diet. But we should see that the calorie value of fat we consume in our daily diet should not exceed 30% of total calories. Body fat is measured in the form of Total cholesterol. This Cholesterol is of two types-Good Cholesterol [ HDL Cholesterol ] and Bad cholesterol [ LDL Cholesterol ]. Good cholesterol helps to remove the fat from the peripheral muscles and blood vessels. Bad cholesterol deposits the fat in the periphery. This information is not provided by the Body Fat Analyzer we are going to discuss now.
The instrument only tells whether you are obese for your height and it also gives how much of your body is composed of fat. If the instrument gives a High value, you should contact your doctor to get your Total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol checked. This is very important because LDL cholesterol narrows the blood vessels and there by predisposes to Heart attacks, Strokes and High blood pressure. If your LDL cholesterol is high then the physician will first advice you life style modifications such as cessation of smoking, low fat diet and exercise therapy. Please do not start the therapy by yourself if your instrument gives you a high value for body fat because such self-diagnosis can damage your health.
How does Omron Body Fat monitor work?
Omron Body Fat analyzer displays body fat as percentage of your total body mass. It also displays your Body Mass Index [BMI]. The BMI is given by the formula-weight [lbs]/ height [inches]/ height [inches]. The instrument calculates your BMI using this formula and indicates whether your BMI is Low, Normal, High or Very High.
The instrument requires two AAA batteries which last for approximately one year. This can store profiles of nine persons [ height, weight , age , sex] by assigning each person a number.
How to use this device?
It is very important to know when and how to use the device as faulty usage gives erroneous measurements. I recommend you to use this in the mornings soon after you wake up. The device should not be used immediately after a shower, after an exercise, after drinking lots of fluid or after a meal as these timings change the functioning of the monitor and gives inaccurate measurements. If you are using the device for the first time, you need to select a number that represents your profile. You should first feed the required data in to your profile-Height, Weight, Sex and Age. The variables that alter in your profile with time are weight and age. So, be sure that you update your new weight and age when you are repeating the measurement. You need a weight scale to measure your weight. Next you should select the mode of measurement; either Athlete or Normal depending on your FIT index. FIT index can be calculated by a very simple formula given in the instruction manual. If this is a burden to you, select the Normal mode if you do not exercise daily.
Now after feeding your data, stand with your legs slightly apart. Hold the grip electrodes that project from the sides of the instrument in your hands with your arms at 90 degree angle to your body. You should not move during the measurement. Now confirm "Ready" and then push the Start button. The measurement is very fast with your results displayed within about 10 seconds.
Omron HB-306 comes with a one year warranty at a price of $45.
Finally I would like to tell you that just knowledge does not alter the health behavior i.e; knowing your body fat percentage does not help if you are not motivated to modify your life style. Some health tips to reduce your body fat:
-Low Fat Diet: The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your daily cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg . Foods containing Bad cholesterol are egg yolk, red meat and butter. Egg yolk contains 100% bad cholesterol and it is better to avoid it. Foods that contain good cholesterol are Fish oils. Vitamin c also increases the Good cholesterol.
-Quit Smoking: Smoking decreases the Good cholesterol. Your risk for stroke and Heart disease start falling immediately after you quit smoking.
-Daily Physical activity: Some people exercise regularly, but still are obese. I believe it is not how much you exercise but the way you exercise that really matters. For example brisk walking burns more fat than walking slowly for miles. Brisk walking, Cycling , Jogging, Swimming and Yoga are great fat burners.
-Alcohol: Well! Here is the good news! According to a recent research it has been proved that moderate alcohol consumption increases the good cholesterol and there by protects against the heart disease. So, one should know when to limit his alcohol intake. Excessive intake does the reverse -excess of alcohol damages the liver, heart and causes increased blood pressure.
Knowledge, Motivation, Attitude and Lifestyle are the prerequisites to possess good health. This instrument gives us only the knowledge. Rest is in our hands!