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Let your body type be your fitness guide

Although there is no hard and fast rule, your build will make a difference to the kind of sports which suit you best. Choosing to concentrate on exercise regimes which work with your natural body type and shape will help you get best results with less risk of injury.

Slim and lightweight (Ectomorph)

People who have lightweight frames and carry less fat often find that they excel at distance sports which need endurance such as marathon running, triathlon and hill walking.

Repetitive loading doesn’t require intense bursts of power but it does require stamina.

Bearing in mind that running loads between 12-15 times your body weight, a lighter frame means that the overall punishment on the joints is reduced.

Ectomorphs need to ensure that they take in plenty of calories before exercising – slow release carbohydrates are best. This is because people with slim lightweight frames typically have a basal metabolic rate several times faster than the average person so they burn fuel more quickly than normal. They can find it difficult to put on weight or maintain muscle mass. Special care has to be taken that they get the right amount of nutrition to allow them to maintain muscle.

Ectomorphs often have smaller joints which are not supported by bulky muscles so they can suffer joint injuries. Contact sports can result in more joint injuries so rugby scrums may not be ideal. Gradual incremental training can help to build up muscle around joints and consistency is key.

Heavier and carry more fat (Endomorph)

People with naturally more powerful physiques who store fat easily will do better at sports needing power and body weight such as weight lifting, discus, wrestling, hammer throwing and contact sports like rugby. They tend to find it easy to build muscle mass and fat stores which may be needed for a more explosive one-off event.

Loading is easier for short periods of time needing higher energy, but because of their greater bulk and weight, endomorphs may tire over long distances. Joints muscles tendons and ligaments can handle the heavier loading as they are more robust but too much loading on joints for long periods will also cause wear and tear problems, like osteoarthritis, later in life.

Muscle can turn to fat if fitness levels drop as an endomorph gets older, making them more prone to health problems such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

More muscular with low body fat (Mesomorph)

These ‘ideal athletes’ will do well in sports needing power and strength such as 100m run, sprint cycling, boxing, weightlifting

Their natural power, along with minimal body fat, allows them to excel in any sport if they have the commitment and discipline to train and make the most of their natural gifts. Mesomorphs respond well to cardio and resistance training and have a versatile and adaptable body type which can handle loading as well as being able to go the distance in endurance events.

Sammy Margo
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