When you’re trying to figure out your body fat percentage, one thing that comes up is Bone Density, but what is it, and why is it important?
Bone density is a measurement of how much bone material is packed inside your bones. Some people have very dense bones, which will make them weight more than those with less dense bones.
Some people naturally have a low bone density. It might be from age, disease (such as osteoporosis) or just from their genetics.
As an example, look at the image below:
The image is of a vertebrae, as you can see on the second part of the image, a person with low bone density has much more empty space inside the bone than the first person. The more empty space you have, the lighter (and usually more brittle) your bones are.
If you have significantly low bone density, it’s called Osteoporosis. This happens when your body absorbs more old bone than it can replace with new bone, so the empty space gets bigger. To keep your bones healthy, your body needs calcium and vitamin D and enough exercise to build and keep strong bones.
You can get a quick, non-invasive bone density test at most medical clinics. It might be a simple ultrasound of your heel, or a full body scan. These are much more accurate than a basic x-ray, as they can detect small drops in bone density, while a basic x-ray doesn’t really detect a big drop in bone density until about 1/3 of it is gone, and by then there is already damage being done.
Once you know how dense your bones are, you can more accurately work out your body fat percentage, what multivitamins to take, have a good meal plan, and make a training and diet program to suit your needs.