Good news: it's time to bin the scales

By Amy Lawrenson


I have signed up for a half marathon in October (not quite as brave as Jenny's full-on marathon, but still) and as I find running really dull I have joined my local gym in the hope that I can get fit and keep interested through lots of different forms of exercise. As Jenny mentioned on Friday, working on your core is important as well as general exercise classes and of course, running.

Before I could take part in any exercise at my gym I had to have an induction. Let's just say it was thorough. Everything from my weight, fat levels and vital statistics (arms, waist, hips etc, with a tape measure) were noted down in my 'Rapid Results' book. I then have 10 personal training classes and one more meet at the end to re-evaluate my stats.


What was interesting is that my weight for my age and height is ideal meaning I'm within the healthy 18.5-25 on the BMI scale; but my fat percentage is far too high, along with some of my measurements. My aim is to lower my fat percentage, but increase my muscle for a lean Gwyneth-Paltrow-esque look. However, if I do that I'm in danger of tipping my BMI results into the overweight category. Why? Because muscle weighs more than fat.

After ten days of exercising with a mix of cardio and weights, I already feel slimmer (albeit undetectable to the naked eye) and can detect muscles in places I didn't know I had them, but my weight has stayed the same. Which is why we all need to bin the scales and measure our health and progress via our fat percentage and a trusty old tape measure.

The ideal fat percentage for women should be around 25-30%

Your waist should measure smaller than 32 inches, otherwise you may be at risk from diabetes or heart disease.

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