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What Is Your Ideal Body Fat Percentage?

Aug 30, 2008
Once people catch on to the idea that their body fat percentage is one of the most important indicators of fitness (far more so than their weight), they want to know what their ideal percentage of body fat is. If my 'ideal,' you mean a healthy percentage, the answers are right here in this article.

Your Ideal Body Fat Percentage Varies

There isn't a single ideal percentage of body fat that is right for everyone. The experts who figure out such things have come up with a range of numbers that varies depending on your age and your gender. The age portion of this is simple: the older you get, the higher your healthy fat percentage can be.

When it comes to men and women, the ideal ranges for females are significantly higher than for men. That is, women naturally carry more fat on their frames than men do. This is presumably to protect and nourish children during pregnancy.

This doesn't mean that women have it easier than men when it comes to maintaining their ideal body fat percentage, or that a woman who is in her ideal range is less fit than a man in his ideal range. It just means that they have a different target range to hit.

Ideal Ranges For Women

Here are the generally-accepted ideal body fat ranges for women:

Ages 18-39: 21% to 32%

Ages 40-59: 23% to 35%

Ages 60+: 24% to 36%

Ideal Ranges For Man

Here are the generally-accepted ideal body fat ranges for men:

Ages 18-39: 8% to 19%

Ages 40-59: 11% to 22%

Ages 60+: 13% to 25%

Now remember, these are generally accepted healthy ranges. You're not going to die if you stray out of those ranges, but the further you get from the ideals, and the longer you stay outside the ideal ranges, the more likely you are to have health problems.

One More Thing To Remember

While your body fat percentage tells you how much fat you have on your body overall, it doesn't say anything about the distribution of that fat. Some people have their body fat distributed evenly across their frames, while others seem to have it all settle on their abdomens or butts. When your fat is distributed evenly, you will appear to have less of it than someone whose fat primarily settles in one spot.

Getting to your ideal body fat percentage is no guarantee that you'll like what you see when you look in the mirror. But it greatly increases the chances that you'll be healthy enough to look in that mirror for years to come.
About the Author
The best way to get to your ideal body fat percentage is with a professionally-designed program. For free reviews of the top fat loss programs, visit http://fatlossatlast.com/
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