Are you somebody who has a very clear body type? If so, it may not be the result of anything you have or haven’t done – body shape is partially hereditary and therefore you have to put in significant work to change things. It’s not to say that it can’t be done, but it does take a concerted effort.
You may wonder, does it even matter what your body shape is? Does it really say that much about you? Yes it does, and the fact of the matter is that your body shape may have a very real and direct link to your cardiovascular health. Keep reading to learn more about what your body shape says about your heart health.
Where shall we start...
What is the Correlation?
This isn’t meant to cause you to panic, but it is certainly something you should be aware of: the shape of your body may have a lot to do with your heart health in the future. New studies pinpoint what the concerns may be and help you to understand what this means to you as an individual. The more insight you have, the more proactive you can be, and the more you can work through any potential risks.
We already know that being overweight can put a strain on your body. It’s now time to understand what your body shape can mean in regards to cardiovascular health. This insight may tell you things that you already know, but may point out things to be aware of. This is all about being healthy and having a strong focus on the things that you can do to take better care of yourself now and well into the future.
Understanding the Different Body Shapes
Now it’s time to really understand what the shape of your body is, what that entails, what it makes you more prone to, and what this means to your cardiovascular and general health. Let’s take a look at the three different body shapes to help highlight this aspect of the equation.
This is the typical body shape of somebody who is traditionally thin. You may have a lighter build, smaller joints, lean muscle, and smaller features in general. You might consider this to be a more “petite” build, as this body shape tends to be very thin with very little shape. A few traits that are typical to an ectomorph body shape include:
- A smaller body frame, somewhat delicate or petite in nature
- Flatter chested and smaller shoulders
- Very thin with little to no muscle mass or shape
- It can be difficult to gain weight even with effort
- Likely a faster metabolism and therefore burning calories very quickly
If you are an ectomorph, you need to eat a lot of calories to gain weight. You may wish to take supplements to fill in your nutrition each day. You don’t want to lose muscle, so be sure that your focus in the gym is on building muscle specifically.
This is the type of body shape that has bigger muscles, a larger structure, and more mass overall. If you fit the mesomorph body type, you are likely athletic in your build and you can gain or lose weight with ease. You are naturally stronger, and so you may focus on a lot of strength training and eat plenty of calories to offset that effort. Typical traits of a mesomorph include:
- Stronger and more athletic build
- More muscle mass
- You can gain muscle easily
- You may gain fat more easily than ectomorphs
- You may have a rectangular shaped body overall
If you are a mesomorph, your body tends to respond best to weight training, particularly if you are trying to build more muscle. You will see the tangible results of that effort more so than in other body shapes. You also have the ability to gain weight and some fat, so you want to pay close attention to your diet.
If you are an endomorph then you tend to gain weight very easily. You may be softer in your makeup and your legs, arms, and midsection may be a bit softer. The muscle you do have, however, is strong and solid. You are strong and you can gain muscle, though you can also gain fat far too easily. Typical traits of an endomorph include:
- Rounder body with softer areas
- Typical “problem areas” include softer midsection, arms, and legs
- You can gain muscle, but you can also gain fat very easily
- You tend to have a slower metabolism and burning calories doesn’t come easily
- You may have a bit of a “stocky” or “thick” build, and you may be shorter too
- Your muscles are not as defined, as they are often in softer areas
Endomorphs need to focus on keeping the weight under control through diet and exercise. There should be a strong focus on strength training in the gym, but also in shedding fat through cardio. Some of these traits may be hereditary in nature and therefore you must do your part to stay ahead of these common issues and weight gain.
You may be a combination of body shapes, but these three help to define the most common. Understand what your most relatable body shape is as it can offer insight into your cardiovascular health. The more you understand about who you are and what your body is all about, the more you can work to be proactive in protecting your cardiovascular and general health.
A New Study Highlights This Correlation and Shows the True and Direct Link
A new study has come out which helps to shed light on why body type matters. This is also at the heart of what your body type can say about your long term cardiovascular health. This study started by looking at body composition, mostly looking at where men and women tend to carry their fat.
This study then looked for what the typical cardiac risk factors may be such as insulin resistance in something like diabetes, or triglyceride levels in something like high cholesterol. It went on to note that men tend to carry their fat around the belly, which caused them to be more “apple shaped”. Women however tended to carry their extra body fat on their thighs and hips, making them more “pear shaped”.
In reviewing the body fat, body shape, and carriage of excess fat, a few observations were made. Men who had a higher overall Body Mass Index (BMI) tended to be worse off where cardiovascular health was concerned – these men also had greater insulin resistance, thus putting them at greater risk for developing diabetes.
On the other side of this though, it was found that women who were more “apple shaped” and who carried fat in their belly and throughout the body were at greater risk overall. This excess fat meant that they had greater risk factors and therefore this could negatively impact their cardiovascular health.
What Does This All Mean in The Long Term?
Men and women who are overweight or obese tend to have a higher risk for heart problems down the line. This is even more significant when these same men or women have fat deposited all over the body. If men or women carried their fat, were softer, or had a greater likelihood of gaining weight then they had greater risk for heart problems in the future.
The bottom line and the underlying determination in this study is very clear. If an individual, man or woman, is obese or carries their fat in certain places on the body then they are at greater risk for heart problems. Those particularly affected are individuals who have belly fat or who are “apple shaped”.
The results of this study highlight the necessity for doctors to look at the body shape and type of an individual. If they have a family history of heart problems, if they are obese, if they carry belly fat, or if they have a high BMI then they are at greater risk for problems in the future. There is a very direct correlation between body shape and cardiovascular health, and the only way to get it under control is to lose the weight and get healthier in the here and now.
Tips For Improving Heart Health and Controlling Your Weight
When you recognize this very real connection, you want to do your part to prevent health problems in the future. If you tend to be somebody who gains weight easily or who has a body shape that puts you at risk, then you are going to want to pay even closer attention to these measures.
These are the things you can do to help you in losing weight, keeping it off, and working towards improved cardiovascular health. Everything you do now can help you in the present but also in the future, and therefore this needs to all be part of a healthy lifestyle change.
Here are the things you can do now to positively influence your heart health, your weight loss, and a generally healthier and happier lifestyle in general.
- Eat a balanced diet: You need to eat the right foods in the right way to control your weight. If you eat the right foods such as lean proteins, healthy fats, veggies and fruits, and whole grains then you are going to contribute to improved heart health every step of the way too.
You also want to practice portion control. Try to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. This keeps your energy level up, doesn’t put too much strain on the body, and helps you lose weight and get healthier each day.
- Create and maintain a challenging fitness regimen: Yes, you need to work out to lose weight. You also need to lose weight if you want to work against your ability to gain belly fat. If you are prone to gaining weight in this area or in general, then you need to make fitness a part of your life.
This is how you work to prevent cardiovascular issues in the future, but also how you lose weight now. Fitness is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and it will help you to improve your heart health and maintain a healthy weight range.
- Be aware of your risk factors and work through them: If you know you have a body shape that puts you at risk or causes you to gain weight easily, then be proactive with how you take care of yourself. If you have a family history of heart problems, stay on top of it and work with your doctor.
Know what puts you at risk and then do your part to stay ahead of these issues. Set goals for taking better care of yourself and it will pay off tremendously in your ability to prevent cardiac issues in the future.
- Create a healthy foundation to utilize moving forward: You need to make a lifestyle change if you are to enjoy better health. That means getting rid of bad habits that may be working against you. This happens by quitting smoking, limiting your alcohol and caffeine consumption, and learning to take better care of yourself.
Replace the bad habits with good ones such as learning to manage your stress, getting plenty of rest, and maintaining a positive mindset. All of these measures will help you to lose weight, but may also help you to get healthier in the long term. It’s not about a short-term fix, but rather a lifestyle change that will carry you through into the future.
Carly loves to keep fit, healthy and enjoys passing on any tips and tricks to her readers. She can be found in the kitchen cooking up healthy treats!