How does that perky rail of a woman in your aerobics class do less cardio than you, eat tons of carbs and still manages to have a lean figure?
It’s all about your body genetics ladies. We are different. We all know that. Our shape and our weight, it’s as unique as we are as women. Stop comparing yourself with others and start having fun finding fitness that works for you! By simply understanding your body type you can maximize your diet and fitness routine to rock your body!
I hate to be technical, but when I learned about this stuff, I was blown away. So I really want to share it with you. I think it’s really great to know. There are three main body types. They include the ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. Each of our body types will require a different program of fitness and nutrition. So here is the big question, which category fits you?
FYI – these are goals gals, do not feel like you have to start out at these levels. When starting cardio, 5, 10, 15 minutes is super! Something is ALWAYS better than nothing. Just do something. Okay, here we go…
- Body Type – Lean with long limbs, thin bone structure, small joints, may lack muscle and fat. They have fast burning metabolisms, so it may be hard for them to gain weight. Runway models would fall into this category.
- Strengths – Super endurance which aides in excelling at fast paced exercises.
- Nutrition – Should consume 5 to 6 meals a day, consuming lots of protein and good carbs for energy and ample amount of fruits and vegetables with each meal.
- Fitness – Cardio 3 days a week for 30 to 60 minutes is plenty! Due to the high burning metabolism of an ectomorph, they can lose muscle by overdoing cardio. Their biggest focus should be strength training with heavier weights and fewer repetitions, approximately 8 to 12 reps per set, with three sets.†
- Celebrity Ectomorphs – Gwyneth Paltrow, Whitney Houston and Taylor Swift.
- Body Type – Hourglass figure, naturally lean, strong and muscular, medium bone structure and medium joints with square broad shoulders, which tend to be wider than their hips. Athletes are generally found in this category.
- Strengths – Athletic in nature, easily gains muscle and losses weight.
- Nutrition – Should consume 5 to 6 meals a day, with a diet high in protein and low in carbs, as well as including a nice amount of veggies or fruits with each meal. They thrive best with a diet of thirds. One-third protein, one-third vegetables or fruits and one-third healthy carbs. Mesomorphs can also gain quickly from foods high in sugar so they need to be cautious with consumption.
- Fitness – Cardio 3 to 5 days a week for approximately 30 to 60 minutes. This body type takes quickly to strength training so moderate to heavy resistance with higher repetitions 2 to 3 days a week is great! Three to four sets of 12 to 15 reps is a good goal.†
- Celebrity Mesomorphs – Madonna, Gabrielle Reece and Jennifer Garner.
- Body Type – Thicker torso, shorter limbs, strong wider bone structure and wider thick joints. They generally have a higher body fat percentage with a slow burning metabolism. This body type gains weight easily and has a harder time losing it.
- Strengths – Typically strong and responds well to fitness requiring a normal endurance activity level.
- Nutrition – Should consume 5 to 6 small meals a day, with a diet high in vegetables, moderate levels of protein and low in carbohydrates. Additionally, it’s best to avoid sugary foods and beverages, as your body will store it as fat pretty easily.
- Fitness – For optimum health and weight loss, endomorphs respond best with some form of cardio daily for 30 to 60 minutes with a moderate to high level of intensity. Moderate to heavy resistance with weights using 15 to 20 reps with three to four sets.†
- Celebrity Endomorphs – Oprah Winfrey, Sophia Vergara and Kate Winslet.
Remember, exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. Have some fun trying different forms of cardio and see what you enjoy the most!
Pace yourself from the beginning and gradually increase your activity time and intensity. It’s 100% fine to start slow and build your way up. This is not about kicking your butt on day one, hating yourself on day two and refusing to go back on day three. This is about finding what works for you.
Know your body and what you believe you can handle. If you have a hip or knee pain, stick with non-impact exercises. For cardio, some non-impact exercises to raise your heart rate include; swimming, outdoor cycling, rowing, the elliptical and indoor spin. Impact cardio exercises include; walking, the stair master, aerobics, tennis, and cross training, just to name a few.
With resistance training you can use bands, balls, dumbbells, kettle bells, and machines. Just be aware that proper form and breathing is crucial to maximize your workout, results and prevent injury. Enlisting a trainer for a couple of sessions can add to your quality performance and structured desired results.
Oh, and please do not forget, keep a journal! Log everything! I use a basic composition book. Write down your warm-up, your exercises and your cool down stretching. Include the time it takes you, the intensity you worked at and the resistance or weights used. You will be so glad you did! Especially as you push yourself a little more by looking back at your progress and your fitness achievements. Remember the only person you should be competing against in your personal fitness is yourself.
It’s important to note that our body types can crossover to other categories based on our life choices, family history and our fitness. We can also have characteristics in more than one group. However, by identifying our personal body type we have the ability to step up our game and maximize our health for a longer, richer, more active lifestyle!
†Safety Note – Before beginning a new fitness or diet regiment you should consult a physician.
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Thank you – Michelle