A Beginner’s Guide to Body Types and Why It is Important to Know Yours
It is common knowledge that lifestyle factors play a huge role in determining the shape of your body. This is why we see people in so many different shapes and sizes. However, our bodies are not as diverse as we may have presumed. No matter how drastically different we all look from each other, all human bodies essentially fall into three categories. Yes, only three!
The Three Different Body Types
Based on the genetic characteristics, human bodies can be divided into the following three types called somatotypes:
Bodies that are typically described as narrow, slender, and petite are ectomorphs. People with ectomorph body type typically have lean muscles, small joints, narrow shoulders, and slender limbs. They also have a high metabolism rate. People that fall into this category also struggle with building muscle mass.
Endomorph body type is the complete opposite of ectomorph. People with this body type are typically pear-shaped and have big bodies with a high tendency to store fat in certain areas of the body. They also have soft, poorly defined muscles and slow metabolism. People with round wide, round physique are characterized as endomorphs.
Mesomorph body type falls in between ectomorph and endomorph. People with this body type are naturally gifted – their bodies are athletic with larger bone structure and broad shoulders. They also tend to be muscular and naturally strong.
Mesomorphs share characteristics of both ectomorphs and endomorphs – they tend to gain fat easily, but at the same time, they are also able to lose weight and develop muscles quickly and easily.
Why It Is Important to Know Your Body Type
We all have seen and met people who can eat anything and get away with it – people who we call blessed souls. Similarly, we have also seen people who starve all day but still have around, bulky body shape. This often makes many of us wonder why does this happen?
Although there are several factors that contribute to your fitness and body shape, genetics plays a key role in determining your body type. Just like your height, your genes determine the structure of your bones and the overall frame of your body. Also, and this may come as a surprise to many, your genetics is also responsible for how and where your body stores fat.
Since genetics is immutable, knowing your body type can help set realistic fitness goals. Simply put, knowing your body type helps you determine what you can change in your body and what you can’t. For example, if you are naturally an endomorph, your body cannot be exactly like an ectomorph’s, no matter what you do. The same goes for ectomorphs – they can never have bodies as wide as endomorphs. Even if they achieve their targets with intense workouts and follow a strict diet, they won’t be able to maintain it in the long run.
Endomorphs can lose body fat and tone their muscles to improve their fitness with relative ease. Similarly, ectomorphs can develop some muscles with the right diet and exercises (it is going to be challenging for them, though). Health and fitness experts place a huge emphasis on knowing your body type because it helps you figure out how you can get into a good shape and not fantasize about a body shape that’s practically impossible to achieve.
Knowing your body type also helps you determine the best ways to maintain your weight and overall fitness. When you know how your body responds to various foods, how much tendency it has to store fat, and where it is likely to store fat, you can design an appropriate workout routine and meal plan.
The Sum Up
The shape of our body (that we see in the mirror) is the result of a combination of factors. Some of them are controllable, whereas others are beyond our control. Your basic body type is the factor that’s beyond your control; your genes determine it. As discussed above, knowing what your natural body structure helps you set realistic fitness goals. It also prevents you from falling prey to those marketing tactics for fitness products that claim to make your body perfect, just like a supermodel.
In a nutshell, knowing your body type helps you become the best version of yourself.