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Different body shapes

Which body type are you?
As we look around, we see that the human body comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. A person's can be tall, short, thin, curvy, muscular, or rounded, and have body shapes that resemble an apple, a pear, a ruler, or an hourglass. Body shape, or figure, includes a person's skeletal structure or build, and the distribution of muscle and fat, including quantity of fat, on the body. Each body type has its pros and cons.

We are all born with a specific body structure and with a certain predisposition to an basic geometric body shape or type. It's common for people in our society to develop an overall perception of their body shape and what it should be like, but in reality their actual body shape doesn't often look like their vision. Some do not care, while others become self-conscious, spending a lot of time thinking and worrying about their low body image. This way of thinking often creates a negative impact on their self-image, and also their emotional and physical health.

Though you may be unsatisfied or disappointed with your current body type or shape, there are things you can do to make the most of your body's natural characteristics. The important thing is to start a regimen that works well for you, and that you can sustain for the rest of your life. It is not about a "diet" per se, but maintaining healthy lifestyle choices and habits.

Before beginning your healthy eating program, and designing the right exercise plan, you should determine which body shape you have. Identifying your own body shape is important, because each type has a different metabolic rate as well as different needs in terms of cardiovascular exercise, muscle building exercise, and stretching in order to maintain flexibility. Knowledge of your body shape will also help you to determine the kind of clothes and workouts that would enhance your overall appearance e and thus build your self-esteem.

You definitely can lose weight and change your size, but you can't change your core body shape. Most people lose weight throughout the body in exactly the same proportion, but still maintain their core body shape. They are just smaller after losing the weight. It is unrealistic to expect to change from one basic body structure to another, but with the right exercise and appropriate eating plan, you can improve your health, your shape, and by learning to love your shape, you can take positive steps to look and feel your best regardless of your body type.

For many years, doctors and exercise gurus have divided people up according to whether their natural body shape is slim, curvy, or muscular. The three body types are called ectomorphs (thin or slender), endomorphs (rounded, oval, or egg-shaped), and mesomorphs (muscular).

Ectomorph
The classic ectomorph body is long, lean and even super thin, with long arms and legs. They tend to have a delicate bone structure, a fragile shape, are small shouldered and flat-chested, with narrow hips. These people have a very fast metabolisms, and their challenge is generally with gaining or maintaining their weight, rather than trying to lose it. They are generally light and flexible, but find it hard to build and maintain muscle when they exercise. Most people would envy their slimness and their ability to eat without gaining weight, but many ectomorphs wish they had more curves or better muscle definition.

It is possible for an ectomorph to build muscle, but to do so, they need to combine their exercise program, which is aimed at building muscle, with a diet that features both extra meals with healthy high-calorie foods. When exercising, ectomorphs will need to focus on weight training if they want to add bulk. At the same time, they should keep up their cardiovascular work and stretching routines, so that they stay fit and flexible. When eating to gain weight, ectomorphs should add extra servings of food such as lean meat, nuts, and avocados, rather than eating foods that are high in sugar or saturated fat, which is bad for the heart. Ectomorphs have a natural advantage in certain sports, because their frame and flexibility, makes them well suited for things like long-distance running, track and field sports, cycling, and basketball.

Endomorph
An endomorph generally has a soft and curvaceous body, and tendency to gain weight easily. They often have a round face, large thighs and hips, which can give them a stocky appearance. They tend to have larger bones than the other body types, and have the capacity to build muscle and lean mass with minimal effort. Unfortunately, endomorphs naturally have a low metallic rate, which makes them vulnerable to weight gain weight. They generally have a high level of body fat, and weight loss is most difficult for this body type, compared to the other two. Endomorphs may not metabolize food as quickly as other body types, so they have to eat fewer calories in order to lose weight. Endomorphs need to burn fat by exercising. As a result, they need to be extremely strict with their diet and exercise regimen, and must learn to love a low-fat diet. Endomorphs are well suited for many sports which will help them control those sexy curves by trimming down. They are strong, and have lots of power in their lower body. Tennis, weightlifting, and Martial Arts all make good use of their power.

Mesomorph
People with a mesomorph body type are usually described as having a well-defined, strong athletic body, with an hourglass shape, broad shoulders, thick muscles, and a narrow waist. Think of the classic bodybuilder shape, and that's a mesomorph. They are able to gain lean muscle mass quickly. Unfortunately, they also have the tendency to gain fat easily, and sometimes have trouble losing it. Their bones are strong and thick, which helps them carry their large frame. Mesomorphs build muscle easily, but since they have to struggle with maintaining flexibility, stretching is essential. Mesomorphs need a well-balanced exercise regimen of weight-training, cardiovascular exercise, and stretching, to keep their bodies in optimum shape and condition.

Although there are wide ranges of sizes within each body type, body shapes are also categorized or divided into one of several elementary geometric shapes, such as apple-shaped, pear-shaped, ruler-shaped, or hourglass-shaped. The shape one is categorized as depends on where the fat tends to accumulate on their body if they gain weight.

Apple (Cone body shape, spinning top body shape, triangle downward body shape)
Apple shaped people are generally bigger on the top half of their bodies than on the bottom. They commonly have slim hips, legs/thighs, and buttocks, while the large chest, abdomen, and shoulders look out of proportion compared to the rest of the body. Apples tend to gain weight above the waist or along the backside, and fat is mainly distributed in the abdomen, chest, and face. The majority of apples are endomorphs or mesomorphs.

An apple shaped person should focus on slimming down and losing body fat. Developing and working on the lower half of the body will help balance out the large disproportionate upper body. They should look to perform low resistance exercises that target the upper body, and exercises that involve low repetitions and more resistance targeting for the lower body.

Pear (Spoon body shape, bell body shape, triangle upward body shape)
People with a Pear-shaped body are usually mesomorphs with a larger lower half and smaller upper half. Their hips are usually slightly wider than their shoulders, and women usually have a small chests and flat stomachs. Pears generally gain weight below their waist, with fat tending to deposit first in the buttocks, hips, and thighs. The women of this body type tend to have a larger rear, robust thighs, and a smaller bosom.

Pears should focus on exercises that will thin down the lower half of their body to balance out the top half of the body. They should focus on aerobic activities with low resistance that work out the lower body such as walking, cycling, jumping rope, and elliptical training, and resistance exercises that will build their upper body such as light weights, pushups, chin ups, and shoulder presses.

Ruler (banana body shape, straight body shape, rectangular body shape)
Most people with a ruler shaped body are ectomorphs. Rulers usually have hardly any difference in the measurement of their hips, waists, and shoulders, which creates the typical ruler body shape look. If they put weight on, the body fat is distributed predominantly in the abdomen, buttocks, chest, and face, while maintaining slender arms and legs.

People with a ruler shaped body are able to perform pretty much any activity. Rulers should focus on building muscle mass through resistance exercise to ensure that they build a symmetrical body shape. They should also perform cardio activities to help them lose weight in problem areas, such as the buttocks and stomach.

Hourglass (Tapered body shape, triangles opposing body shape, facing in body shape, Conical body shape)
People with an hourglass shaped body tend to have a well-proportioned upper and lower body, with a distinctive tapered, narrow waist. The hourglass figure is considered as one of the best body shapes. As a result, they are often envied and admired by other people. The hourglass shape body type usually enlarges the arms, chest, hips, and rear before other parts, such as the waist and upper abdomen. This body type tends to tend to gain weight all over the body, especially in the hips and chest areas. Hourglasses tend to be an endomorphs or mesomorphs type, depending on their height, and the amount of muscle and fat accumulation. A person with an hourglass figure should be focusing on both cardio and resistance exercises.

Now that you have identified your body type, you can start to plan your eating and exercise regime. In addition to following your daily Qi Gong and Tai Chi meditation regimen, it will really help you to do some form of regular cardiovascular and resistance exercises that will help you achieve and sustain a healthier, happier you.

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