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Our body shape is dictated by our genes – whether we have big bones, wide hips or broad shoulders will be decided by our parents and forefathers. As we grow, other factors start to play their part, such as weight, diet and how often we exercise.
The combination of genetics and lifestyle will decide how the body looks and functions over the years. Knowing your body shape and its ability to perform is important, beyond the old cliches of the pear, apple and hourglass shapes assigned to women. So find out what your body shape is so you can plan the diet and exercise you need for good, long-term health.
The ecto-morph: Characterised by small bones and a thin frame with few curves and skinny arms and legs, the ecto-morph is a person with little body fat and a fast metabolism. Everyone knows an ecto-morph or at least has heard one saying such things as “No matter what I eat, I never put on an ounce”. The ecto-morph will gain weight as they grow older and actually become paunchy if they fail to work out and do weight and strength training in particular.
The meso-morph: A medium body type, the meso-morph has a muscular build and a body that responds quickly to exercise so if you’re a meso-morph, you’ll see very quick results once you embark on an exercise program. Strength training is particularly effective. However, while the meso-morph is possibly the most envied physical shape, failing to exercise properly and maintaining a good diet at all ages can lead to carrying excess weight.
The endo-morph: Typically large boned with a slow metabolism, the endo-morph body shape is a strong one that carries the most body fat of all the body shapes. People whose body shape is endo-morph will tend to come from a family of large-boned people, usually overweight and round. An endo-morph will, unlike the ecto-morph, struggle to keep weight off, no matter how much exercise they undertake and how carefully they watch their diet.