Fitness

Discover an amazing new fitness program for your body type

Author: Canadian Living

Fitness

Discover an amazing new fitness program for your body type

Getting fit is certainly about getting healthy. But let's be honest, most women would admit that fitness is also about looking better, feeling great and improving our self esteem. We all have our body bugaboos – and personal trainers hear them all. Here are some popular ones:
• How can I reduce my abdominal fat – and risk of heart disease?
• Is there a way for me to look less, you know, hip-heavy?
• I want to tone up – everywhere.
• Can I grow a butt?

We spoke to Hamilton, Ontario-based certified personal trainer Stephanie Churchill to get the lowdown on the main fitness complaints she hears from her clients – and what fitness approaches create the best results for each body type.

Although women come in different shapes and sizes, most of us fit the description of one of four main body types: round apples, bottom-heave pears, curvy hourglasses or straigh-as-a-cereal-box bananas.

No matter what your body type, it's imperative to get to your healthy body weight in order to be in top shape. You can calculate your Body Mass Index to find out if you're already at your healthiest weight. You can learn how to decode your BMI here.

Body type: Apple
Characteristics:
• Heavier on top than bottom
• Carries extra weight around the midsection

Celeb apples: Rosie O'Donnell, Tyra Banks, Catherine Zeta Jones

Common fitness complaints:
• "Abdominal fat. Apples collect fat around their middle, which raises health concerns," since excess abdominal fat is linked to heart disease and type 2 diabetes, Churchill says.

• Even when fit, they have a less-than-taut belly.

Your fitness solution:
• Do 20 minutes of cardio warm up, then concentrate on weight training. "You can use weights to keep your heart rate up [for cardio benefits], while building lean muscle. Lean muscle burns fat, even when you're not doing anything. That's why building muscle is important for weight loss and maintenance – it speeds up your metabolism," says Churchill.

• Try a group fitness class, especially one focusing on building core strength.

Page 1 of 2 - find out great fitness programs for pear, hourglass and banana body types on page 2.Body type: Pear
Characteristics:
• Bottom heavy
• Carrying extra weight on hips, thighs and bottom
• Defined waist

Celeb pears: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé

Common fitness complaints:
• Junk in the trunk!

Your fitness solution:
• Even if it's your hips that are bugging you, your prescription is a full-body workout, Churchill says. Cardio and weight training will kick your metabolism into high gear. "Add in lower body exercises like lunges and squats," Churchill says, to tone trouble areas.

Body type: Hourglass
Characteristics:
• Classically curvy with evenly balanced upper and lower body
• Defined, nipped-in waist

Celeb hourglasses: Halle Berry, Kate Winslet, Salma Hayek

Common fitness complaints:
• Although commonly considered the most coveted body shape, Churchill reports her hourglass-shape clients often complain of back pain (often from bad posture or a heavy bust).

Your fitness solution:
• Work in about 35 to 45 minutes of cardio, then move on to weight training, Churchill suggests.

• "Build your core strength and strengthen your back muscles," with seated rows, chest presses using hand weights while seated on a bench or balance ball, or floor exercises like planks.

Body type: Banana
Characteristics
• A non-curvy rectangular build
• Evenly balanced upper and lower body with minimal waist definition
• Build ranges from boyish model-type to sturdier athletic build

Celeb bananas: Cameron Diaz, Hilary Duff, Sheryl Crowe

Common fitness complaints:
• Not enough curves

Your targeted solution:
• "Broaden your shoulders, tone your butt and bring your waist in" to create a toned but curvier-looking figure, Churchill advises. Overhead presses and upright rows will work your shoulders. Squats and lunges will help tone your butt, hips and thighs. Tighten your midsection with core work.

• Combine cardio and weight training in every workout. Many bananas fear weight lifting might cause them to bulk up, but it's unlikely you'll train hard enough (or consume enough protein) to get that effect, Churchill says. But you will gain lean muscle – which in turn will speed up your metabolism to burn more fat.

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