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When it comes to fitness tech, Tanita is one of the first names that comes to mind. The Ironman line is a tough, powerhouse of a body composition monitor. It is state of the art, yet looks like something you would see in House Beautiful magazine. The unit is slightly over a half inch thick and a mere three pounds. Its sleek black casing and low-profile make it a great match for any home gym or bathroom. And then, of course, there’s the functionality.
Nine seems like a lot, but the Tanita Ironman BC-350 has them covered.
- Weight, as expected
- Percentage of body fat
- Percentage of body water (healthy range: female 45-60%; male 50-65%)
- Muscle mass (size of muscle)
- Bone mass (bone strength)
- Basal metabolic rate (base rate for your body)
- Physique rating (this ranges on a scale of 1-9 from small frame obese to very muscular)
- Visceral fat level (fat around organs)
- Metabolic age (rather than your chronological age, the age all of the other data indicates the age of your body – helping to determine areas for improvement)
The body fat monitor uses small electrical impulses to make its delicate measurements. Pregnant women should NOT use this function as the effect on the fetus is unknown. People with pacemakers or other electrical implants should NOT use this function as it could interfere with the operation of the medical device.
You might have noticed (I have) that, depending on how I stand on the scale affects the readout of my weight. Yes, I do look ridiculous standing slightly to the left with my two left last toes hanging off that side and my right heel directly aligned with the end of the scale, but I weigh nearly half a pound less that way. However, the Tanita Ironman BC-350, even more so than a normal scale, needs to be used appropriately to get accurate readings. To get the most accurate readout from this device:
- Wear no clothing
- Wash and dry feet before use
- Consistent hydration conditions
- Align heels with the electrodes on the measuring platform (it is fine for those with larger feet to have toes over the edge of the platform – it’s the heels that are most important)
- Take readings at a consistent time of day
- Wait 3 hours after getting up in the morning, eating, or exercising
- Do NOT bend knees – stand up straight
- Do not use other electronic devices, such as a cell phone, as it may affect results
If you follow these guidelines consistently, you will be able to see trends in your fitness levels. Accuracy is dependent upon your consistency in following the conditions above.
Don’t Take My Word for It
I never make an investment into something, especially technology, without doing some research. That research often takes the form of reading the reviews of people who have actually used the technology in question. Here are some of the things that led to the Tanita Ironman BC-350 receiving a 5 out of 5 star rating:
Folks who tried it out had a lot to say: Users were universally amazed that the scale can be preset for multiple users, have tons of features, and still be inexpensive. The Tanita Ironman BC-350 is as effective for serious athletes as it is for dieters. With all of the information and ability to measure up to 0.1lb., it is a uniquely accurate tool.
You Can’t Please Everyone
Some consumers felt that the price was too high for the functionality and that while it has a lot to offer, some of the information is unnecessary for those who are just looking for a way to monitor simple weight loss.
The Tanita Ironman BC-350 Ironman Body Composition Monitor is currently available from Amazon.com.
The current trends in technology have leeched into our scales so why not take advantage of them? The more information we have, the better our understanding of what we need to do to achieve optimal health and wellness. If that takes learning the meaning of visceral fat and bone mass, then so be it. We have moved beyond mere weight and body fat, people. We can now get a full fitness picture from one device.