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Body Toning - Answers
To Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions:

Check out Zumba - it makes exercise routines so much fun!

How can various body types be categorized?

William H. Sheldon in his writings (1940-2) on human physique and temperament introduced a theory outlining three basic body types.

His theory has become accepted in literature dealing with weight, bodybuilding and exercise.

In recent years some researchers have gone beyond these three basic categories, one even compiling a chart of 45 different body types.

This new method of classification deals first with body proportion and bone structure and then allows for varying levels of fatness or thinness.

Nevertheless, the three main categories commonly recognized are set out below although it must be emphasized these are broad categories. There is great variation within them and the danger of oversimplification needs to be avoided due to numerous combinations.

ECTOMORPH - slender or lean

  • thin flat chest
  • delicate build
  • young appearance
  • tall
  • lightly muscled
  • stoop-shouldered
  • large brain
  • has trouble gaining weight
  • muscle growth takes longer

MESOMORPH - more muscular

  • hard, muscular body
  • overly mature appearance
  • rectangular shaped
  • thick skin
  • upright posture
  • gains or loses weight easily
  • grows muscle quickly

ENDOMORPH - larger and fleshier

  • soft body
  • underdeveloped muscles
  • round shaped
  • over-developed digestive system
  • trouble losing weight
  • generally gains muscle easily

What can I do to change my body shape?

Some modern researchers are emphasizing that every body has a natural beauty. Instead of having a mental image of the "perfect body", they advise having a realistic view of self and begin to view our own body as beautiful.

Any body type can lose or gain weight. This of course will be in relation to a person's bone structure and body proportion, allowing for varying levels of fatness or thinness.

It must be stated then that we cannot drastically change the body we were born with. We can learn to live with it and appreciate it.

Having said that, there are certain changes we can make involving slimming, firming body areas such as buttocks, hips, breasts, and improving the condition of our skin.

These changes can make a great difference to how we look and consequently how we feel about ourselves.

How does aging affect body shape?

Our muscles gradually begin to shrink with age which slows the rate at which we burn calories. The less muscles we have, the less calories we burn.

So as we begin to lose muscle tissue our fat burning capacity diminishes and we begin to add weight to various parts of our frame.

This process often begins after the age of 25.

In men, the fat tends to go to the mid-section.

In women, the fat often goes to the abdominals, thighs and buttocks.

What is the difference between body toning and dieting?

Dieting involves adjusting the diet through supplements or abstinence from certain foods for periods of time in order to lose weight.

Body toning may or may not include weight loss. Generally it means firming up parts of the body through exercise, muscle building and/or the use of certain herbal formulas which can be applied to the parts of the body needing attention.

How important is exercise?

Very important!

Walking is one of the best exercises for strengthening bones, controlling weight, toning the leg muscles, maintaining good posture and improving our self-image.

Specific exercise and muscle toning programs can tighten a protruding stomach, remove the bulge around the waist, add support to the back muscles, lift and firm a sagging bottom or tone flabby thighs for better-looking, shapelier legs.

How can I choose pants to flatter my body shape?

Depending on your body shape keep the following points in mind when choosing pants:

  • For wide hips, choose baggy pants rather than tapered

  • For the full bottom, choose wide-leg pants without back pockets

  • For large thighs, choose wide leg or straight leg pants rather than tapered

  • For shorter legs, choose slim pants and avoid cuffs (turn-ups) to elongate the legs

  • Dark colors are slimming. To direct attention away from a full bottom choose a light or bright top but dark pants.

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