Part of our Open Challenge will include body measurements at the waist, thigh and arm. These measurements, combined with the use of the WISE scale located in our rest room can help you track your fitness results better than relying solely on the your bathroom scale — this is especially true if you’re trying to lose fat and gain muscle.
Why? Well, the scale only measures your weight — not your body composition. So if you’re losing fat and gaining muscle, you’re going to see a difference in the way you look — but it’s totally possible the scale won’t budge. And if you’re relying solely on the scale to track your results, you may think you’re not making progress.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or make gains, body measurements can show you the bigger picture and give your confidence a boost.
From a wellness perspective, knowing your measurements can be an indicator of potential health risks — for example, if your waist measures more than 89cm (for a woman) or 102cm (for a man), you may be at a higher risk for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Here are some instructions on taking your own body measurements in case you can't get to the gym this week, or would prefer to do them yourself.
How to Take Your Own Body Measurements
Find or buy a non-elastic tape measure, which will conform best to your body and provide the most accurate measurements. Measure yourself wearing as little clothing as possible, and pull the measuring tape snug to the body without indenting the skin.
Consistency is key, so try to measure yourself in the same spots each time — ideally on the same day of the week and around the same time of day. If you ask someone else to take your measurements for you, try to get the same person each time in order to replicate the process as closely as possible.
We will take beginning measurements this week (the sooner the better) and again at the end of the Challenge (3/31).
How to Measure Your Waist
Wrap the measuring tape around your waist at your belly button. Make sure the tape is straight all the way around, sits flat on your skin, and is snug without digging in. Don’t suck in your stomach — breathe out normally, and check your measurement after you exhale.
How to Measure Your Arms
Keep the arm you’re measuring relaxed by your side, and wrap the measuring tape around the peak of your bicep muscle belly — the thickest part of your upper arm. The tape should lie flat and fit securely around your bicep.
How to Measure Your Thighs
While standing, measure your thigh by wrapping the tape around your leg at the midpoint of the thigh. Make sure the tape lies flat and straight the whole way around. Check your measurement at the point where the two ends overlap.