BODY TYPES


Despite the fact that people come in all shapes and sizes, most people can be placed into a particular category of body type. These body types are ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph


1. ECTOMORPH

The extreme ectomorph physique is a fragile and delicate one. The bones are light, joints are small and muscles are slight. The limbs are relatively long in proportion and the shoulders droop. The ectomorph is a linear physique. Straight up and straight down, and may appear longer than he or she really is, due to the length of limbs coupled with lack of muscle mass developed on those limbs.

The ectomorph is not naturally powerful and will have to work hard for every ounce of muscle and every bit of strength he or she can gain. The extreme ectomorph may have long fingers, toes and neck are long. A pencil neck you could say. The features of the face are sharp, and the shape of the face is triangular. The lower jaw is somewhat receding. The skin tends to burn easily.

Extreme ectomorphs may suffer from extremes of temperature. Due to the great body area in relation to muscle mass, the ectomorph may suffer from great heat, and due to low body fat, the ectomorph may suffer from great cold. The hair is fine and grows quickly and is sometimes difficult to keep in place.

Ectomorph summary:

  • Definitive "Hard Gainer"
  • Delicate Built Body
  • Flat Chest
  • Fragile
  • Lean
  • Lightly Muscled
  • Small Shouldered
  • Takes Longer to Gain Muscle
  • Thin

2. MESOMORPH

The mesomorph has well-defined muscles and large bones. The torso tapers to a relatively narrow and low waist. The bones and muscles of the head are prominent. Features of the face are clearly defined, such as cheek bones and a square, heavy jaw. The face is long and broad, and is cubicle in shape. Arms and legs are developed and even the digits of the hand are muscled. The skin of the mesomorph is thick and the mesomorph tans well. The hair is heavy in texture.

Mesomorph summary:

  • Athletic
  • Hard Body
  • Hourglass Shaped (Female)
  • Rectangular Shaped (Male)
  • Mature Muscle Mass
  • Muscular Body
  • Excellent Posture
  • Gains Muscle Easily
  • Gains Fat More Easily Than Ectomorphs
  • Thick Skin

3. ENDOMORPH

The body of the extreme endomorph is round and soft. The physique presents the illusion that much of the mass has been concentrated in the abdominal area. This may or may not be true. The arms and legs of the extreme endomorph are short in length and taper. This may give the appearance of stalkiness.

The hands and feet of the endomorph are comparatively small, and the upper arms and thighs are often more developed than the lower parts of the arms or legs. The body has a high waist. The skin is soft and smooth, and the hair is fine. The head of the endomorph is spherical. The head is large and the face broad.

Endomorph summary:

  • Soft Body
  • Underdeveloped Muscles
  • Round Physique
  • Weight Loss is Difficult
  • Gains Muscle Easily Like the Mesomorph.

The endomorphs are at the greatest risk for developing obesity, mesomorphs are at a moderate risk and ectomorphs are at little or no risk.


HOW DOES EXCESS BODY FAT IMPACT HEALTH?

Overweight and obesity lead to adverse metabolic effects on blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin resistance. Some confusion of the consequences of obesity arises because researchers have used different BMI cut-offs, and because the presence of many medical conditions involved in the development of obesity may confuse the effects of obesity itself.

The non-fatal, but debilitating health problems associated with obesity include respiratory difficulties, chronic musculoskeletal problems, skin problems and infertility.

The more life-threatening problems fall into four main areas: CVD problems; conditions associated with insulin resistance such as type 2 diabetes; certain types of cancers, especially the hormonally related and large-bowel cancers; and gallbladder disease.

The likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes and hypertension rises steeply with increasing body fat percentage. Confined to older adults for most of the 20th century, this disease now affects obese children even before puberty. Approximately 85% of people with diabetes are type 2, and of these, 90% are obese or overweight. And this is increasingly becoming a developing world problem.

Raised BMI also increases the risks of cancer of the breast, colon, prostrate, endometroium, kidney and gallbladder. Chronic overweight and obesity contribute significantly to osteoarthritis, a major cause of disability in adults. Although obesity should be considered a disease in its own right, it is also one of the key risk factors for other chronic diseases together with smoking, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.

In the analyses carried out for World Health Report 2002, approximately 58% of diabetes and 21% of ischemic heart disease and 8-42% of certain cancers globally were attributable to a BMI above 21 kg/m2. (Adapted from the World health organization).


TYPES OF OBESITY

  1. Hyper plastic – increased number of fat cells throughout the body
  2. Hypertrophic – increase in the size of each individual fat cell. Linked to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and other serious disturbances of metabolism. Usually around the waist (typically seen in males)

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