Whether you’re a first-time runner or a veteran training for a marathon, running can change your body. An important step in maintaining your health and performance is the ability to assess your body composition in real time. A body fat scale can help you monitor key metrics to identify potential injury risks and evaluate if your current exercise and nutrition program is working for you.
For a complete picture of health, runners need to monitor more than just their weight. EatSmart body fat scales measure your body fat, body water, bone density, and muscle mass by using BIA technology to send a low intensity electrical signal through the body. The rate at which this signal flows lets the scale estimate your body composition. The signal is perfectly safe and not felt by the user.
Here are nine reasons every runner can benefit from owning a body fat scale:
Set and track goals
Tracking your progress helps you stay motivated and keeps you focused on achieving your race goals. It’s so much easier to get results when you set goals – especially when they are specific, measurable goals based on your body composition (i.e. gain 5 lbs of muscle or lose 5 lbs of fat). If your goal is to run a new distance or set a new personal record, using a body fat scale to monitor your muscle mass and body fat will help ensure you’re at an optimal weight on race day.
Monitor body fat
Increased training often results in the loss of body fat. While most of us can benefit from losing some body fat, you want to be careful not to lose too much. Too little body fat can result in muscle weakness, lead to fatigue, leave you prone to injury, and may cause amenorrhea in women.
Maintain muscle mass
Ideally, you want to lower body fat and increase muscle mass while training. If you’re muscle mass is decreasing, you should reevaluate your exercise program and add in strength training and/or plyometric exercises.
Optimize daily water intake
Body water ratios are higher in lean tissue than fat tissue. Knowing your stats is a good indicator of how healthy your body is. This is especially important for athletes as they train because dehydration greatly impedes performance.
Properly hydrate on long runs
With a body fat scale, you can determine your optimal hydration for long runs. Simply step on the scale before and after your run to monitor changes in your body water percentages. If you have lost a considerable amount of water after your long run, consider sipping a sports drink during your run to increase water retention.
Optimize calorie consumption
Proper fueling will keep you energized during the run and help your body repair after strenuous workouts.
Track bone density
High impact workouts like running help build and maintain bone density. If your bone mass is reading lower than it has previously, it can be an indication of a problem.
Somewhat surprisingly, one side effect of marathon training can be weight gain. An increase in activity can cause an increase in appetite as well. If your weight is going up and your muscle mass is not increasing, it’s time to look at your nutrition plan and figure out what changes could be made.
Oversee your health from home
Having a scale in your home that measures your body composition saves you from trips to the gym or a lab to have your results taken. No appointment is necessary.
A body fat scale is ideal for runners who want to stay healthy and have optimal performance while training. The EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale measures five important health metrics including weight, body fat, body water, muscle mass and bone density. It weighs up to 400 lbs and stores personal profiles for up to eight users.
The scale features an athlete mode for very active users which provides runners with more accurate readings. Athletic body types are physiologically different than standard adult body types, due to muscle mass and hydration level differences. These differences would skew the body fat reading high, when taken with the standard mode. If you work out at least 3 times a week for 2 hours at a time, you should choose athletic mode to get an accurate reading.
To learn the differences in BMI and body fat percentages, read BMI vs Body Fat Percentages – What You Need to Know and How to Measure at Home.
You may be also interested in reading Top Nutrition Tips to Follow When Training for a Marathon.