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Physical fitness and body composition

Body composition is one of five aspects of physical fitness. Basically, it is the amount of muscles, organs and bones in one's body, compared to his/her levels of fat. People who have a good body composition have no problems when it comes to exercising or being exposed to some serious workouts. However, those who have underdeveloped musculature or are overweight are bound have problems with physical fitness and the above mentioned capabilities.

Physical Fitness, Body Composition and the Army

Soldiers need to have a good body composition in order to manage to do well during all the important physical training in the Army. Those who have underdeveloped muscles or excessive body fat will perform much worse than individuals with good and lean body composition. Moreover, lack of proper body composition may result in lack of self-esteem, negative morale, unsatisfactory appearance and other unwanted factors.

Therefore, the Army does its best to have people with good body composition. Thus, it has a standardized weight control program, which assesses one's body composition in percentages of entire weight, compared to percentages of fat. Then, the fat percentage is compared to the predefined, tolerable amounts. It goes without saying that every recruit needs to fulfill the necessary requirements.

However, not all unsatisfactory results signify that a person's body composition is not proper. For example, some athletes may have a great deal of muscle mass, increasing their overall weight, making them appear overweight when measured, even though their body composition is lean. However, if the circumference test done in the Army, shows that a recruit has too high fat levels in the body, he/she does not meet the necessary requirements.

Determining One's Body Composition

Apart from the above mentioned tests and methods, body composition can be assessed through underwater weighing. Yet, this kind of testing takes time and is quite expensive. So, it is commonly performed only in hospitals.

If a soldier appears not to satisfy the requirements of the Army due to his/her high levels of fat, he/she will be directed to a weight loss and diet modification program.

There, the recruit will undergo a lifestyle change which will allow a steady loss of fat manifesting in two pounds a week. A minimum of necessary calories may be consumed, but a steady intake of vitamins and minerals is necessary.

However, diet without exercising will solely result in a loss of both fat and muscle mass. Thus, a rigorous aerobic exercising in a must, helping the individual burn the extra calories while increasing his/her muscle mass. Therefore, rowing, skiing, cycling, running, stair climbing, jumping rope and many other forms of exercises are adequate for these purposes. Once these are properly combined with a good diet, they help people achieve a perfect body composition.

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