Bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. No two body types are exactly alike, as every person is unique in their own way. Some people are muscular, some are slimmer, and others will be curvier. Most people will have their body type defined by the time they’re through with puberty. Still, different factors such as major lifestyle changes, hormonal changes, and dietary habits can affect it.
While taking health and fitness inspiration from others is fine, it should be noted that different bodies come with different needs. What works for one person won’t always work for another. Understanding your specific body type and how to best care for it will ensure an optimal lifestyle for your health.
Table of Contents
1. Identify Your Body Type
There are many factors that can determine your body type and its functionality. Your body type will depend on the distribution of muscle mass and fat, as well as genetics, sex, age, diet, and activity level. However, there are common categories for many body types that can help to understand your specific needs.
Thin, long, and lanky. You have a smaller bone structure with shoulders that tend to be narrower than your hips. Over the years, you may also notice you have trouble gaining weight. This body type can typically handle more carbohydrates.
You’re more muscle-dominant, with an hourglass figure and medium frame.
You tend to have more body fat than other body types. Women who are endomorphs may be described as curvaceous, while men may be called stocky. You tend to carry weight in your belly, hips, and thighs. An endomorph may be more prone to insulin resistance, and thus they need to watch their carbohydrate intake.
This body type is lean and muscular.
This person is strong, but the muscles aren’t well-defined.
This describes a naturally thin person who has gained weight due to a lack of exercise and a poor diet.
Additionally, most people will fall into these body type categories based on their overall fat distribution:
- Inverted Triangle
2. Know Your Risks
Once you’ve identified your body type, you can understand the health risks to watch out for. For example, people with larger waists are at a higher risk for heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes.
Suppose you’re apple-shaped but not overweight, meaning your body mass index (BMI) is under 25. In that case, you’re at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes than people with smaller waists.
If you have an hourglass shape and are overweight, you’re at a higher risk for chronic diseases like heart disease. For ruler shaped-bodies, being overweight means you’re at just as high of a risk for heart disease and diabetes. Still, if you’re underweight, you can have problems with menstruation, getting pregnant, malnutrition, and depression.
No matter what body shape you have, it’s important for you to research the health risks you may face thoroughly and how you can improve your overall health. All body types should aim to maintain healthy weight, eat balanced meals, and exercise regularly.
3. Go Below the Surface
Your body type isn’t just about physical appearance; it’s also about your internal systems as well. Hormones greatly influence your body’s functions and can impact your metabolism and energy. Your body shape can give you an idea of how well your hormones and internal systems are working.
A rounder face and a tendency to have more weight around your stomach can indicate that your stress levels are too high. An overactive thyroid can make it harder for your body to store fat, while having an underactive thyroid makes it difficult for you to burn fat. If you have thyroid problems, you’ll probably notice your weight has increased over time.
If you notice your belly is large but the rest of your body seems to be in shape, you may have issues with your liver. This can indicate your liver is working overtime to break down excess alcohol, sugar, and carbs. Those with extra weight in their hips and thighs can indicate too much estrogen.
Taking the time to understand your body shape and the needs it has is crucial to also understanding if there’s something wrong. Your body will give you clues when there’s something off, and you can make adjustments as needed.
4. Relax for You
If you’re a very active person, it will be important for you to find time for rest and stillness. Inversely, if you find that you’re someone who prefers to relax and take things easy, it’ll be important for you to also make time to get up and move every day. Finding the necessary balance for your body will bring more fullness into your life and allow you to feel your best.
Find the things that allow you to relax at the end of the day. These will differ for everyone, as some people will want to read a book, listen to a podcast, catch up on a TV show, or enjoy a nice bath. No matter what you prefer, finding things that truly relax you and allow you to recover will be important.
Creating a relaxing bedroom space will also be crucial to your overall health. Things such as soft lighting, candles or diffusers, and cool colors can help create a sense of relaxation. A comfortable bed with a quality mattress, such as a Nolah nurture mattress, will ensure you have the proper support your body needs to relax and recover at the end of the day. Include soft sheets, warm blankets, and fluffy pillows to create a relaxation space.
5. Embrace Your Body
Identifying and understanding your body type will have lasting effects on your life. Being able to make health and wellness decisions that are optimized for your shape will ensure a full life. There’s no perfect body type, and not every health tip will work for you, but recognizing your body’s needs is key to a healthy and long life.