Know Your Body Type, Part 1
Do you know your body type?? Most people tend to overlook this very important aspect of their genetic makeup. They look for the quick fix workouts advertised in monthly fitness magazines and later lose hope when they are not able to achieve their fitness goals. These workout programs ARE excellent, but can only be effective if applied to the right person, in the right circumstances.
Somatyping classifies body types into 3 main groups - ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph (the suffix morph meaning: form, shape, or structure). It is unusual to find a person whose body type falls exclusively into one of these groups. Most of us share a mix of two or more groups.
We will start with the first group - ECTOMORPH.
Ectomorphs are naturally lean and thin. They seem to eat all sorts of unhealthy foods, and yet stay slim. However, ectomorphs can also be low in muscular strength, and find it difficult to gain muscle. The common characteristics on an ectomorph are:
- Fast metabolism
- Naturally thin or wiry
- Find it hard to gain weight
- Naturally lower in strength levels
- Often high energy levels, and tend to be overactive.
Though Ectomorphs are mostly thin and/or 'skinny', they CAN still gain fat. The ectomorph has a tendency to be lightly built. This means the ectomorph has difficulty building a lot of muscle. On the other hand, under calorie restriction, the ectomorph tends to burn muscle. If an ectomorph, looking to drop fat, restricts their calorie intake, they may burn more muscle than fat. It is important for them to combine weight training as well as cardiovascular training in their pursuit of their goal.
As mentioned, Ectomorphs tend to eat improper or fatty meals due to their fast metabolism and inability to gain weight. This can turn into a concern of increased cholesterol levels. The term 'skinny fat' is sometimes used to describe individuals who look thin on the outside but are very unhealthy on the inside (cholesterol build up in blood vessels). Ectomorphs need to be aware of this fact and choose healthy and nutritious options to avoid the risk of high cholesterol and the other negative risks associated with it.
Health and fitness is a lifestyle.