ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 29

Know your shape and stand tall

Most people don't learn to appreciate what they've got until much later in life. But it'd be better if we liked ourselves from day one - especially as we tend to look our best during those confidence draining few years from our teens onward! Here's how to make the best of what you're blessed with, right now.

Perfect your posture

We all know that standing tall rather than slouching makes a better first impression. But good posture is about more than impressing others; it's about putting on a display of self-confidence, (even if you're bluffing and don't feel confident inside). Good posture is about puffing out your feathers and saying 'Here I am, here's what I've got and I'm happy with it'. Plus:

  • Standing tall gives your crumpled internal organs more room, especially your lungs, which means you can take deeper, energising breaths.
  • Good posture supports your head and back, so you're less likely to experience joint and muscle pain.
  • Standing straight is slimming and makes your clothes look better, too.

Here's how to stand tall:

  • Your head should feel like it's holding up your body - so no drooping.
  • Your neck should feel elongated and your chin should be about 20cm above your collarbones.
  • Your shoulders should be back and down - not hunched.
  • You shouldn't feel any tension or discomfort.
  • Your knees should be slightly bent.
  • If you've got it right, you should be able to 'draw' a straight line from your ears down to your ankles.

Get in shape

All the diets in the world can't change the body shape you're born with, so instead of fighting it, why not work with it? There are three basic body types:

  • Ectomorphs are tall and thin with long limbs, small bones and a narrow upper body. They aren't naturally muscular. (Think Louis Theroux.)
  • Endomorphs tend to be rounder with wide hips and large bones. They're prone to gaining weight. (Think Sophie Dahl.)
  • Mesomorphs tend to be short with broad shoulders, average bone size and well-developed muscles. (Think Tom Cruise.)
    Most people are a mixture of two body types. For instance, a meso-endomorph might have upper body strength, but gain weight on the lower body. Once you know what you are, you can choose an exercise routine to enhance your body shape.

Here are some ideas:

  • Ectomorphs lose weight easily, so avoid hectic workouts and stick to gentle aerobic exercise, such as swimming. If you're paranoid about being puny, gain muscle mass through regular all-round weight training.
  • Endomorphs put on weight easily, so regular aerobic exercise, such as swimming, fast walking or cycling, will help you stay trim. Plus, gentle upper body weight training will help balance your body shape.
  • Mesomorphs find it easy to build muscle, so only need to lift light weights. Stretching, yoga and Pilates will help elongate your muscles and improve flexibility.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.