Bodies come in many shapes, but the most dominant are the “apple” and the “pear” shape. The apple body shape is biggest in the middle, chest and stomach, but little in the arms and legs.
According to a 14 year study, a comparison disclosed that normal-weight people with pear-shaped waist-to-hip ratios, those with “normal healthy” BMI and thicker middles were more than twice as likely to die of any cause and 2.75 times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease. Normal-weight Americans with an accumulation of fat around the middle are more likely to die of heart disease, and of any other cause. Women whose waists were larger than 85% of their hip size or butt shapes, were in the danger zone: Their fat distribution clusters around the middle.
Waist-to-hip ratio is heavily influenced by genetics as well as diet. But experts have long known that exercise can be a powerful influence on improving waist-to-hip ratio, even when it does not budge BMI.
WF experts have put together tips to help apple-shaped women gain control over their body, they are:
1. If you are an apple, you will want to focus on aerobic training in order to slim down and lose body fat. You can take up cardiovascular activities like rowing, swimming or cycling to protect the knees and ankles. The stepper and the treadmill on incline are great cardio to lose weight all over while still building some muscle tone on the legs. A cardiovascular workout of at least 40-70 minutes, 3-5 times per week is desired.
2. Running is the next step of walking. Running can help in burning more calories and fat than walking. Even it can be performed by anyone. Running is the best exercise for those apple shaped women who want to burn more fat and calories in short time period. A higher amount of calories and fat will be expended because huge amount of energy is required for running.
3. Apple shaped women tend to carry more weight around their waistline, so it’s important to perform core strengthening exercises like the plank as well as the side plank. Plank is an excellent core strengthening exercise. Lie face down on the floor and rest your weight on your toes and forearms (palms facing the floor). Your back should be flat and your body should form a straight line. Hold this position for up to a minute (or until your body starts to fatigue) and repeat. For side plank, lie on your side (body raised) and rest your weight on your feet and forearm. Your body should form a straight line. Hold the position for up to a minute and repeat. To make this exercise more challenging: from the side plank position slowly dip down until your mid-section is almost touching the floor; lift back up and repeat.
4. Take up a Strength training program composed of higher repetitions at least 12-20 reps (with 30-60 sec of rest between the sets). Resistance exercise helps build and maintain muscle strength and promotes the growth of healthy muscle fibers, an important aspect in burning calories and minimizing fat accumulation.
5. Include at least two sessions per week of strength-training exercises in your regular workout routine. Exercise bands, free weights and resistance machines all provide a variety of exercise options that help you burn fat and increase muscle.
6. Since apple shapes have a disproportional lower body compared to upper body, resistance training should focus on increasing lean muscle mass in the legs and bottom to balance the body out. Squats, lunges, leg press and dead lifts are perfect activities. By working on the lower half of your body, you can help balance out your chest and shoulders. If you are looking for upper body exercise, traditional push-ups or modified push-ups (knees touching the floor) will help strengthen your chest, arms and abs.
7. Exercises such as kayaking or playing tennis will tone the waist through their torso-rotating actions. During an hour-long singles game of tennis, a 160-lb. individual will burn approximately 584 calories. If you weigh more than this amount, you’ll burn more calories. If you weigh less, your calorie burn rate will be lower.
8. Yoga & Pilates are an excellent exercise option for apple shaped women to develop the core area and tone the midriff. The teaser is an excellent abdominal strengthening Pilates exercise. Lie on your back with your legs straight and extended up at a 45 degree angle from the floor. Keeping your arms straight, reach up toward your legs until they are parallel with your legs (your legs and torso should form a V-shape). Hold the position for a few seconds; then lower your upper body back down (keeping your legs up) and repeat. Another one is the Hundred. To do, lie on your back with your knees bent and your legs lifted off the floor with your knees toward your chest. Begin the exercise by contracting your abdomen, lifting your head and shoulders off the floor and extending your arms forward. Pump your arms, lifting and lowering them while synchronizing your breathing, completing five pumps for every exhaled breath. Continue until 100 repetitions are completed.
9. Practice standing tall. Having a tall and straight posture will give automatic visual results. Be sure to pull in your stomach muscles as you straighten up. As pulling in the stomach and standing tall become a habit, it will tighten the tummy all day.
10. Focus on changing up your cardio routine regularly. Never do the same exact workout for longer than a month. Especially during midlife, fat cells take on a new job, because they start producing oestrogen in a bid to compensate for what’s being lost from your ovaries and cushion you from the worst effects of lowered hormones. The trouble is, they do it by multiplying in number, and by getting bigger. Result – a gradual increase in weight, which creeps on inexorably, even if your eating and exercise habits are the same as ever. Make physical exertion a priority.
By building on muscle content through a customized strength training program, Endomorphs can increase theirBasal Metabolic Rate in order to manage their weight. Endomorphs who put on weight become “pear shaped” and carry their extra weight below the belt on the hips, abdomens, buttocks and thighs.
Calorie Burning And Walking
The above information is taken from ‘Shape up! Tailor made training for female body shapes’ by Caroline Sandry and John Shepherd.
Note: Always check with your doctor before starting your fitness routine, especially if you suffer from chronic pain or illness. Visceral fat, the type of fat that contributes to a round waistline, produces hormones that produce a negative effect on your cholesterol levels and reduce your ability to use insulin. Abdominal fat increases your risk of certain medical conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer, all of which may lead to premature death.