Knowing body type

Our genetic predisposition to gain weight is decided by our body type, which responds to various workout regimes
Mickey Mehta

Studies have time and again stated that one’s risk of obesity is higher even with one parent being obese. Our genes decide how well we respond to exercise and how prone we are to weight gain. Besides the genes, lifestyle patterns are also culprits — one’s eating habits, sedentary life or lack of activity are major factors that are likely to make you struggle with your weight. So, it is absolutely imperative that you do not throw in the towel and blame your genes alone for your obesity. Instead, acknowledge the fact that even as little as 30 minutes of some activity or exercise will help you outsmart your genes. Regular exercises and a healthy eating plan will also help you with other benefits such as lowered blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels, reduced risk of diabetes, heart diseases and improved stamina, flexibility and immunity. To reduce the effects of being overweight, you need to opt for a fitness regime that fits into your body type as well as your daily schedule in order to maintain continuity and to achieve results.

Ab crunches can firm a flab stomach
Ab crunches can firm a flab stomach

There are three body types characterised by specific personality and traits. The Endomorphs have a round and soft body with more fat in the abdominal area. They gain weight easily and have an appearance of stockiness. They tend to have a fuller shape and are also capable of building muscle with effort.

Exercise tips: They need to focus more on cardio training to achieve a higher heart rate to burn calories. These can be interspersed with strength training or total body exercises with cardio for good results.

The Ectomorphs are fragile and delicate with light bones and muscles. Even though they are lean and slender, they tend to have lesser developed muscle mass. They will have to work harder for weight gain.

Endomorphs have more fat in the abdominal area and gain weight easily. They need to focus more on cardio training
Endomorphs have more fat in the abdominal area and gain weight easily. They need to focus more on cardio training 

Exercise tips: This type will gain results from Yoga, Pilates and strength training to improve their muscular/skeletal system and for better posture. They can do cardio training for 2 or 3 times a week for better heart health.

The Mesomorphs are solid and strong. They have well defined muscular bodies with narrow waist, large bones and have athletic bodies. They respond well to exercises.

Exercise tips: Focus must be on exercises like yoga and stretching to help avoid looking bulky as they tend to build muscle easily.

Our bodies are adaptable in structure and function and are suited for exercises. Therefore it is strongly recommended that you begin your exercises gradually and take your body to its potential to experience changes that have been well documented like: reduced fat ratio, more muscle, healthier heart system and stronger lungs. You will get best rewards from if you set yourself a schedule and exercise regularly.

The author is holistic health guru, and has a portal www.mickeymehtahbf.com

A few convenient exercises

Pilates work well for fragile and delicate ectomorphs
Pilates work well for fragile and delicate ectomorphs

Firstly, warm up well with side bends, light skipping, toe touches, leg raises, spot jogging and jumping jacks for improved oxygenation, flexibility and to reduce chances of injuries. A few counts of neck rotations, shoulder shrugs and arm rotations are recommended, all of which will make up 10 to 12 minutes.

This can be followed up with six to eight rounds of suryanamaskars for weight loss, flexibility and better stamina.

Lunges: Stand straight and move one leg forward and kneel on the back leg. Straighten, come back to normal position and repeat on the other leg. Do two sets of 15 reps.

Squats: Stand erect with your feet apart. Slowly lower the body and squat down as far down as possible. Ensure that your knees are in line with the toes. Come back to start position and repeat for two sets of 15 reps each.

Side and front leg kicks: Standing erect, raise the right leg sideways as high as possible. Pause, lower and repeat for 15 to 20 counts. Then repeat on the other leg and do the same front ways as well.

Ab crunches: Lie flat on your back and with folded knees (90° angle), slowly lift your torso up. Support your neck and head with your palms. Hols and return to start position and repeat by doing 3 sets of 15 reps.

Push-ups for the chest: Lie face down on the floor with body weight supported on the palms of the hands and the toes, with hands placed directly under the shoulders. Keep your arms bent, body straight and slowly push the upper body to arms length. Lower and repeat for 8 to 10 counts.

Some people find more motivation if they join a gym, while others prefer to do them at home. Whichever way, make sure you plan it to suit your lifestyle and physical condition. It is also wise to exercise under competent guidance to prevent injuries.

Health Capsules

Smoke-free laws linked to drop in child asthma attacks

Introducing laws banning smoking in enclosed public places can lead to swift and dramatic falls in the number of children admitted to hospital suffering asthma attacks, according to a study in England. Researchers at Imperial College London found there was a 12.3 per cent fall in hospital admissions for childhood asthma in the first year after laws against smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces came into effect in July 2007.

Clear food labels help in healthy food choices

Different labels on food that clearly display the total number of calories and nutrients in the entire package, rather than just part of it, might help people make healthier food choices, according to a study from the US Food and Drug Administration.

FDA researchers, whose results appeared in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, found that people were best at assessing things like chips and frozen meals — and comparing the healthfulness of multiple products — when the nutrition facts were presented for the entire container's worth of food, or for both one serving and the entire container. This does away with the need to multiply the nutrition facts listed by the number of servings per package if people want to eat it all, researchers said.

Currently, manufacturers are given a lot of leeway when it comes to deciding how much a serving size is, according to a marketing researcher from Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

To make products appear healthier, some companies have started increasing the number of servings listed per container, thus lowering the number of calories per serving. All of that adds to consumers' confusion, she said.

Nutrition researchers recommend a system like Britain’s — in which the front of foods are labelled green, yellow or red on basis of their healthfulness.

Men who go bald by 40 likely to get prostate cancer

Men who experience receding hair lines early in life are more likely to suffer prostate cancer, says a new study. Researchers, who studied hair loss patterns in nearly 10,000 men, found men who go bald by 40 were more likely to suffer a tumour later on. The study supports earlier findings suggesting baldness could be linked with prostate cancer, Daily Mail reported. Previous studies indicate it could be due to higher levels of testosterone, the hormone which can trigger the development of cancerous cells but also inhibit hair growth. Both prostate cancer and hair loss are strongly age-related conditions that are considered to be androgen (hormone) dependent. In baldness, it's thought high testosterone levels have an adverse affect on the hair follicles, acting on a hormone receptor to slow down hair production. The study was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

Ugly cholesterol spurs high risk of heart disease

The risk of ischaemic heart disease affecting millions worldwide is three times higher in people with high levels of the so-called 'ugly' cholesterol, according to a finding.

"We found that an increase in the ugly cholesterol triples the risk of ischaemic heart disease, which is caused by lack of oxygen to the heart muscle due to narrowing or blocking of the coronary arteries," said Borge Nordestgaard, chief physician at Herlev Hospital, who led the study. Ugly cholesterol is the direct cause of arteriosclerosis (hardening of arteries) resulting in ischaemic heart disease and early death. If the levels of normal fat, triglyceride, in the blood are high, then the levels of ugly cholesterol are also high. It was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Fast food linked to asthma, eczema

Eating fast food thrice a week or more elevates the risk of asthma and eczema, while eating fruit with the same frequency provides a protective effect, says a study. The findings of the research led by Professor Innes Asher and Philippa Ellwood from the University of Auckland's department of paediatrics could have huge implications for public health.Data was collected on more than 319,000 teenagers (13-14 years of age) from 107 centres in 51 countries, and more than 181,000 children (6-7 year-olds) from 64 centres in 31 countries, the respiratory journal Thorax reports.

All participants were involved in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), a collaborative research project which has been led by Auckland for more than 20 years and now involves more than 100 countries and nearly two million children, making it the largest study of its kind. The teenagers and their parents were quizzed about the prevalence of symptoms of asthma (wheeze), rhinoconjunctivitis (runny or blocked nose accompanied by itchy and watery eyes) and eczema, and about their weekly diet. The analysis showed that fast food was the only food type to show the same associations across both age groups. — Agencies