Body types vary from person to person. Large, small, thin, or round, we all have a specific one. This lesson will explore the three main body types and will end with a quiz to see what you have learned.
Think about the people you know. Some may be tall and some may be short. Others may be slim or fuller in shape. The bottom line is that people come in all shapes and sizes. The physical makeup of one's body is called their body type.
Lifestyle, level of fitness, and genetics all contribute to this. Three main body types have been defined: mesomorph, ectomorph, and endomorph. Let's take a closer look, using examples.
Ally is a soccer player. Soccer requires a lot of running and agility. She is strong and fit, and her body is tighter and more muscular than those of her friends. Her shape is sort of square. Ally's body type would be described as a mesomorph.
Jacob likes to play video games. He is thin and slight in stature. He is noticeably slimmer than most of his male friends, and he does not have a lot of muscle or body fat. His shape is kind of like a straight line. Jacob's body type would be defined as an ectomorph.
Ally's brother Mike plays video games with Jacob. Mike is bigger in size than Jacob, and has more body fat. He does not have a lot of muscle, and his skin is somewhat loose and flabby. His shape might be described as round. Mike's body type is an endomorph.
Which Body Type Are You?
Can We Change Our Body Type?
Is it realistic for Mike and Jacob to decide that they want fit and muscular bodies, like Abby's? Is it possible for Jacob to go from a wiry, thin person to a muscular person? How about Mike? Can he go from chubby to ripped?
Our unique body type is the result of several factors. Genetics, or the biological material we inherit from our mother and father, contributes to how we look. This means that to some degree, what we look like is probably going to resemble one or both parents. (Though we can't increase or decrease our height, aside from wearing heels!)
Lifestyle and level of fitness are things that we have a bit more control of when it comes to body type. For example, lifestyle includes things such as the environment in which we live, the foods we eat, and the type of healthcare we receive. We can always move to a town with less pollution, eat healthier foods, and visit the doctor regularly to improve overall wellness.
Our level of fitness may be the determining factor of body type that we have the most control of. For example, Jacob and Mike play a lot of video games. Maybe they should agree to take one lap around the block for each hour of video games they play. This is a very small step that could increase both Jacob's and Mike's levels of fitness.
As Jacob becomes more fit, he will likely see more muscular development and a healthy increase in girth. Similarly, Mike will probably lose body fat and increase muscle mass. These changes will slowly impact their body types and may create significant changes with time.
Let's take a couple of moments to review what we've learned!
People come in all shapes and sizes. The physical size and shape of a person's body is called a body type. Genetics, or the biological material we inherit from our mother and father, lifestyle, and level of fitness affect the body type of a person. There are three main body types. The mesomorph is characterized by a strong and fit body. Ectomorphs are usually thinner and narrower than others. Finally, the endomorph has loose, flabby skin and lack of muscular tone.