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Eat, Live and Exercise Right for your Type.

Live Right for You!

We at Active Image take a holistic approach to health and fitness. Every program is individually tailored to your goals, lifestyles and needs. So we are excited to present this information to you on eating and exercising for your needs as it fits right in with our mission. No two bodies are alike so it makes sense that neither should your fitness or meal plans and at Active Image you can be sure that each program we design will be specific to your needs. Enjoy the article!

It seems that we are bombarded daily with health and fitness information from every possible source and much of it is contradictory! What do you do -- your friend tells you one thing and the latest magazine tells you the opposite; your pharmacist tells you a different dosage than you read on a web-site. So how do you learn what you need in an industry that seems to contradict itself?

There is one expert who always knows what’s best for you – that’s yourself! Your body is a perfectly regulated system; it knows exactly what it needs; it will always let you know how well you did in supplying its needs, if you learn how to interpret your own "body language”!

Since no two bodies are the same, it makes sense that no two exercise programs or meal plans should be the same. To learn what is right for your body, let’s take a look at some of the factors to consider in determining the best types of food and exercise.

Eating Right for your Needs

There are numerous diets – almost as many as there are people! The most popular ones at the moment are low carbohydrate including the South Beach, Atkins and Zone diets. (The term “zone” refers to optimizing the body’s metabolism through a diet containing a certain ratio of protein, carbohydrates and fat.) Low Fat Diets became very popular in the 80’s and many people still follow them today.

Why do some diets work for some people and not for others? There isn’t one diet that fits everyone’s needs -- no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ diet. This is because we all process nutrients very differently; some people metabolize proteins better, while others are better at metabolizing carbohydrates.

The key is to learn what’s right for your body, considering several factors most importantly, your metabolic type as well as blood type, any food sensitivities, level of physical activity and stress levels.

Let’s examine metabolic typing in more detail. Start by eating the proportions of proteins, fats and carbs according to your taste and appetite. Next, listen to your body to find out if your choices were the optimum ones! Within a few hours make a note of your energy levels, mental acuity, ability to focus, feelings of satiety, any sweet cravings or need to snack before the next meal. You will be able to pick up cues as to whether your body needs more carbohydrates or more proteins.

Here are a few tips to help you eat the right foods for you

  1. Let your body be your guide -- analyze your response to different foods and let your body determine what feels right
  2. There are no good foods or bad foods only foods that are right or wrong for your genetic makeup
  3. You should feel terrific one hour after you eat -- if you are still having food cravings or your energy level is lower, these are clues that you may not be eating appropriately for your metabolic type.
  4. If you have to take digestive aids because of gas, bloating, or indigestion then consider changing your eating patterns

Exercise for your Needs.

Have you ever followed the “perfect” exercise program only to find out that it doesn’t work for you? Like diets, there are no one-size-fits-all exercise programs! It should be tailored to your goals, body type, genetics, time availability, stage of life (pregnant, stressed, age) and metabolism. If your metabolism does not match the type of activity or sport you’re doing, you will probably find it more difficult.

Let’s look at body typing as one example:

What Is Your Body Type

To get the most from our exercise programs, we need to know to which of the three basic body types we belong: endomorph, mesomorph, or ectomorph. Each of these has specific characteristics that respond best to different types of workouts:

TypeEctomorphEndomorphMesomorph
Physical characteristicsTall and thin. Thin chest small hips, petite (Prince)Strong bones, soft, round, curvy appearance (Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce)Athletic appearance, medium to large frames, wide shoulders (Madonna)
Metabolic characteristicsFast metabolism. Slow muscle gainsSlower metabolism. Likely to carry a little excess body fatCan gain and lose weight easily
Training TipsWeight loss comes easy. Naturally fit. Will benefit from weight training-work compound exercises- squats, push ups- Naturally strong. Quick to gain muscle.- isolation exercise for individual muscles, lateral flyes, bicep curls, need lots of cardioResponds well to both resistance and aerobic training
Training negativesSlow to gain muscle. Too much cardio. can cause weight lossFinds it difficult to lose weight.
Needs to work on fitness.
Can become over trained quickly. Variety is the key.

In choosing your exercise routine, always consider your preferences since you are more likely to stick with an activity that you enjoy. Of course any physical limitations have to be considered; for example, running might not be a good choice if you have lower back pain or arthritis.

Once you’ve made the commitment to begin a program, contact a fitness professional for assistance in determining training guidelines such as frequency, intensity, type and duration (time). This is know as the FITT principle .

Following are some sources to learn more about somato (the fancy name for “body”) typing and metabolic typing.

The Metabolic Typing Diet by William Wolcott and Trish Fahey

http://www.yourbodytype.com

http://www.mercola.com

http://www.dadamo.com

Cathy Morenzie © April 2004


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The information contained within ActiveImage.ca is for educational purposes. It is here to help you made informed decisions about your fitness and health. It is not medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice or attention of health-care professionals. Please consult your doctor before beginning or making changes to your diet, exercise program, for diagnosis and treatment of illness and injuries, and for advice regarding medications and supplements.

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