What Your Body Shape Says About Your Health.

body shapes comparison

One Piece of the Puzzle

Your body shape can say quite a bit about your health. But it’s important to remember that it’s just one factor. People of all shapes and sizes can be healthy — or at risk for problems like heart disease or diabetes. You should see your doctor for regular checkups to test your blood pressure, cholesterol, and other measures of your health.

 

female distance runner

Ectomorph

One system separates body shapes into “somatotypes.” The ectomorph type has a narrower frame, thinner bones, and smaller joints, and may be flatter in the chest and butt. Think of the typical build of a distance runner, fashion model, or ballerina. Though you may look skinny and find it hard to put on weight, you can have more body fat than you think, especially as you age. That’s because your body often processes food quickly, which makes it harder to build muscle.

green bay linemen

Endomorph

This somatotype usually has more body fat and muscle, smaller shoulders, shorter limbs, and larger bone structure. Think of football linemen, shot put throwers, or curvier women.  You may gain weight easily, especially in your lower belly and hips, and find it harder to lose. This may be in part because your body is more likely to store “high carb” foods as fat instead of burning them.

professional soccer players

Mesomorph

This somatotype has an athletic, strong build with wide shoulders, a narrow waist, and low body fat. Think of the typical build of sprinters or soccer players. Because you’re naturally strong and lose and gain weight easily, your body type is well-suited to muscle-building activities like bodybuilding.

woman with pear shaped body

Pear Shape

It combines a slimmer “ectomorph” upper body with an “endomorph” lower body. People with this shape have extra fat in the hip and thigh area. It’s more common among women, and it may be part of the reason they often live longer than men. That could be because belly fat, more common in men, is linked to more health problems than lower-body fat. One study found that in some cases fat in the hips and thighs was linked to lower odds for some diseases.

man with apple shaped body

Apple Shape

Also called a “beer belly,” it means you have more fat stored around your stomach, while your lower body stays thin. It’s more common in men, and it’s worse for your health than the pear shape. That’s because belly fat is often a sign that you have more fat deeper inside, around your internal organs, as opposed to just beneath the skin. That kind is more closely linked to heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol.

bmi index illustration

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Doctors don’t rely on body shape alone to know how healthy you are. They use a few tools to measure how much body fat you have, and BMI is one of them. It’s a number calculated from your height and weight. A score of 25 or more suggests you’re overweight; 30 or more points to obesity. But it doesn’t measure body fat directly or tell you where in your body the fat tends to live.

woman measuring waist close up

Waist Size

This is a simple way to measure how much fat you have around your belly, which can tell you your odds for health problems, like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. To check yours, line up a measuring tape with your belly button and wind it once around. (Don’t suck in your stomach when you measure.) In women, 35 inches or more is a sign of too much belly fat. In men, it’s 40 inches. These numbers may vary slightly if you have a very large body size.

 

waist to hip ratio illustration

Waist-to-Hip Ratio

It’s another way to gauge the fat around your midsection. Measure your waist just above your belly button and divide that by the measure of your hips at their widest point. Anything greater than 0.85 for women or 0.9 for men puts you in the danger zone for health problems. Is it a better measure than just your waist size? The research isn’t clear. But many studies suggest that both do a good job of predicting health risks.

woman training on an elliptical

Bigger Thighs, Better Health?

Scientists studied about 3,000 adults for more than 12 years and found those whose thighs measured less than 24 1/2 inches were more likely to have heart disease and other health problems. And the problem got worse as thighs got thinner. However, the study didn’t track whether the people’s thighs were larger because of fat, muscle, or both, so it’s hard to tell why they were better off.

senior man working out in gym

Arm Yourself

When doctors kept track of 4,000 men between ages 60 and 79 to figure out their body composition, they found that along with slimmer waists, bigger arms seemed to predict longer life and better health. Those who had larger mid-arm muscle measurements lived longer. It may simply be that muscular arms reflect a healthier lifestyle, but the muscle itself may also help.

couple walking with dog

Exercise to Stay in Shape

Often, your body shape is something you’re born with. But no matter what you look like, there are lots of things you can do to be healthy. Exercise can help you get rid of deeper fat and build muscle, even if your weight stays the same. And if you lose weight, regular workouts can help you keep it off. Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week. Building muscle with weights or yoga can also help.

family preparing healthy meal

Eat for a Healthy Body Shape

Trans fats and sweetened foods and drinks seem to boost belly fat. Eat a diet focused on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. And look for lean protein like skinless chicken, fish, eggs, beans, and low-fat dairy.

Why Gut Health? Why Now?

 

Why Gut Health, Why Now?

“All disease begins in the gut”

While not every disease can be linked to gut health, the list of diseases being linked to dysfunctional microbiomes includes manyhuman chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and asthma, as well as a long list of autoimmune diseases.

From eczema to poor immune health, it seems that our gut health influences much more than we previously realized. It is now estimated that over 3/4 of our immune system resides in our intestinal tract, with over 500 species of bacteria present.

Overall, there are ten times the number of bacteria in the body as actual human cells, and this colonization of bacteria (good or bad) can weigh up to three pounds. With such a large concentration of bacteria in our bodies, it is logical that we depend rather heavily on them for health.

Modern Western society relies heavily on pasteurization which irradiates and processes out any naturally occurring beneficial bacteria while at the same time feeding harmful bacteria with a feast of processed starches and sugars.

 

From the time of our birth we pick up and are exposed to a myriad of diverse bacteria, both good and bad, but it’s this exposure to them that promotes the growth and health of our immune system and overall natural defenses against disease and sickness.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the norm anymore. More often, the balance of good bacteria is altered by an abundance of starches/sugars/vegetable oils in the diet or destroyed completely by antibiotic use or other pharmaceuticals. Lack of exposure to bacteria in environment and food further aggravate this problem.

Many studies show that what we eat, as well as where we live, work or play may play a large role in determining if we have allergies, bad skin, digestive issues or even more severe diseases such as autism or cancer. It’s because of the gut’s direct link to the brain, as it is often called the ‘Second Brain’, that keeping it healthy is so important.

Beneficial bacteria is necessary to properly digest food (especially starches) and to absorb nutrients. It plays a big role in overall immunity. With the rise of digestive problems like IBS, Crohn’s disease, Celiac Disease, colitis, allergies, etc., a good dose of beneficial bacteria certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Avisae has taken a forward approach to gut health by developing a line of products that foster the growth of a healthy microbiome as well as encourage improved gut function.

 

 

Love Your Gut™ products are clinically proven to help restore healthy gut function, aid in digestion, reduce stress and anxiety, promote weight-loss, and assist in the absorption of essential nutrients and vitamins the body needs. Avisae’s systematic approach of enzymes, probiotics, adaptogens, gut repair and e2 oils were designed for YOU, with a commitment to maximum quality, shareability, portability, delicious taste, and efficacy.