Everybody is different! Our body types are based on our genetic structure and are called somatotypes. We all fit into these categories, or a combination of these categories. Generally, there is not a whole lot you can do to change your body type, but no matter what shape your body is in, you can use these tips listed below to lead an active, healthy lifestyle.
First, lets take a look at the body types:
- A wedge shaped body
- A cubical head
- Wide broad shoulders
- Muscled arms and legs
- Narrow hips
- Narrow from front to back rather than side to side.
- A minimum amount of fat
A predominantly mesomorphic individual excels in strength, agility, and speed. Their medium structure and height, along with their tendency to gain muscle and strength easily makes them a strong candidate for a top athlete in any sport. They respond well to cardiovascular and resistance training due to their adaptability and responsive physiology. They can sustain low body fat levels and find it easy to loose and gain weight.
- A high forehead
- Receding chin
- Narrow shoulders and hips
- A narrow chest and abdomen
- Thin arms and legs
- Little muscle and fat
A predominantly ectomorphic individual is long, slender and thin, and therefore power and strength sports are perhaps not suitable as their slight build leaves them susceptible to injuries. While they can easily get lean and hard, their lack of musculature severely limits their chances in sports requiring mass. Typically, Ectomorphs dominate endurance sports and gymnastics. Their smaller body surface area enhances their suitability for endurance activities as they are better at managing their body temperature. They can archive low levels of body fat which can be detrimental to health and for females in endurance sports it can result in a cessation of periods and iron deficiency.
- A pear shaped body
- A rounded head
- Wide hips and shoulders
- Wider front to back rather than side to side.
- A lot of fat on the body, upper arms and thighs
A predominantly endomorphic individual typically has short arms and legs and a large amount of mass on their frame. This hampers their ability to compete in sports requiring high levels of agility or speed. Sports of pure strength, like power lifting, are perfect for an endomorph. Their size benefits sports such as rugby providing it can be moved powerfully. They often have large lung capacity which can make them suited to sports like rowing. Their extra weight can make it difficult to perform sustained weight bearing aerobic activities such as running. They can gain weight easily and loose condition quickly if training is ceased.
No matter what your body type, try and use these 7 tips to help you lead and maintain a healthy lifestyle:
1) Eating a low-calorie, low-fat diet will help shed away your pounds and keep them off. Your daily caloric intake should not be more than about 26% fat, which may seem high to some of you, but it actuality, most people clear that number by eating many processed, ready-to-eat meals. Keep your foods as fresh as possible and aim for as many fruits and vegetables as they fill up your belly, but are low in calories. Exercising is great, but can only take you so far. Your diet should be as clean as possible to get the results you want.
2) Exercise is an obvious tip here. You should be engaging in as much physical activity as possible at least, and wait for it, 5 to 6 days a week. Now that does not mean you need to hit the gym 6 days a week (although that would be nice!). Get creative and burn calories in other ways. When you go to the store, park your car at the back of the parking lot. Take stairs instead of the escalator. Get into a healthy routine and you will notice that you have more energy to do more things, it is a win-win situation. Keep things mixed up too. Men and women need cardiovascular training, strength training, and flexibility training. Strength training is a big one here, as the more active your muscles are, the more calories they burn on a day-to-day basis even when you are sleeping!
3) Watching less t.v. is another big one here. People are always complaining about "not having enough time in a day" yet they make time to sit down to watch the Bachelor or Survivor at night. Why not go to bed a little earlier, get up earlier, and hit the gym in the morning when your energy levels are high and you have PLENTY of time to work out? I have the very basic of satellite packages. That way, I still get the news and a few channels that I can find something to watch, and I certainly don't feel like I am missing out on anything. Everything comes out on DVD boxsets now-a-days. I can always get caught up on the latest hyped show later. If you are lucky enough to have a PVR, use it to record your show and watch it later, that will also cut down on time watching t.v. as you can remove your commercials.
4) Get up every morning and have a full breakfast. There is a reason it has been given that name, it is because it is breaking your fast. Your body is craving nutrients and energy when you get up in the morning so make sure you deliver a breakfast full of carbs, protein and fat. This way, your body won't go into "starvation mode" or worse yet, make you binge on an unhealthy lunch option.
5) Once you begin down the road of your new healthy lifestyle, by god, stay consistent! Yes, we should all be allowed a "cheat" meal here or there, but that is every once in a while, not every day, or even every week!
6) Be conscious of what is going in your mouth. If you have a Snickers bar, just because they have the same "number" of calories as say a healthy sandwich or a protein shake by no means makes them equal. Candy and other junk food, although they may seem "low cal" are generally void of any nutrition. Think of yourself as having so many calorie-dollars in a day and you want to spend as many of those dollars on the healthiest foods possible to maximize your nutrition and make yourself as healthy as possible.
7) Weigh yourself on a consistent basis. Weighing yourself every single day is not the best idea here as your weight will fluctuate depending on what you ate that day, how much you worked out, how much water you retained, etc. The best time to weigh yourself is in the morning, the same day every week. Keep a log of your weight if you wish, and watch your numbers begin to change. And for god's sake, don't feel like you are going to pull numbers like they do on shows like the Biggest Loser by losing 18 pounds your first week. A much healthier approach is a pound or two, (possibly three) a week.
These are tips that can help anyone and everyone no matter your current body type, health status, economic status, etc.