Your lifestyle will determine how deep you have to dig.
I know when you were in the Army your body fat was 5% and when you were a cheerleader you could bounce a dime off your butt. Things have changed, haven't they? The good thing is that it's never too late to be the best you can be. Your lifestyle, environment, body type and age are the determining factors of how good you can look during the journey we call life. When you understand how these factors can work for or against you it makes it a lot easier to be in the best shape you can.
The Lifestyle Factor
If fitness is not high on your lifestyle priority list, it's time to make some changes. Family, religion and employment are usually at the top of the list. If fitness is not in the top five you will find it harder to be the best you can be. When things like happy hour, late dinners, skipping breakfast, and sitting on the couch are higher on the list than exercise, you will find it hard get results and to be consistent on any type of workout program.
Your environment plays an important role in determining what kind of lifestyle a person has. Where you live, your financial situation and your family life are important components of your environment. We live where it is hot in the summer so we have to adjust our fitness lifestyle accordingly. Activities like running on the treadmill, spinning classes and stair machines are good substitutes for outdoor running, cycling and hiking until the summer heat is gone. Your financial situation affects what type of fitness lifestyle you can afford to live. There could be activities you enjoy but the cost factor prevents you from participating. Joining a health club, taking yoga classes or hiring a personal trainer are activities that cost money, but a power walk in your neighborhood is free. If you can afford to hire a good personal trainer you will find that it is money well spent.
Your family life often determines how much so-called free time you have. Free time has been defined as the hours you spend choosing what you would like to do. Ask any parents or couples how free they feel after work. A percentage of their free time goes to their loved ones, and rightfully so, but parents and couples can still have a fitness lifestyles. Jogging strollers, health clubs with child care facilities and co-ed health clubs make it possible to maintain a fitness lifestyle and not cut into your family life.
The Body Type Factor
Let's face it, sometimes the body we really want is not the body we will ever have. There are two people that share the blame for that and their names are Mommy and Daddy. We all fall into one of three body type categories that determine how naturally muscular, skinny or stocky our bodies will be. It is hard to look at pictures of models and not want those long legs or ripped abdominal muscles. If your mom and dad have or had that type of body you stand a good chance of having one too. When you choose a body image that you would like to achieve make sure it matches your body type. It all begins with genetics traits that are handed down from our parents. The genetic traits you receive will give you an Ectomorph, Mesomorph or Endomorph body type.
If you are not a mesomorph I am sure you have seen one. They are athletic looking, have a low body fat percentage, and don't seem to have to work as hard as we do. The female mesomorph has an hourglass figure, very good posture and is a hard body. The male mesomorph has a chiseled body, symmetrical shape, and easily gains muscle. MiaHamm, a famous soccer player, and TerrellOwens, a pro football player, are mesomorphs that you may know.
An ectomorph has the type of body that all dieters would love to have. Skinny, lean, and slight of build are all traits shared by ectomorphs. The female is usually thin, normal weight and tends to have a flat chest. The male has a long appearance and has to work hard to develop muscle mass. Runway models and most basketball players are examples of ectomorphs.
Endomorhs should be the hardest working people in the fitness world. Stocky, heavy set with a thick mid-section are elements of this body type that they have to be overcome. Females with this body type tend to be curvier than the other body types, gain weight easily and have a hard time losing it. Male endomorphs may have overdeveloped digestive systems and have to keep an eye on their gut. There is a little endomorph in all of us.
The Age Factor
If you look at life as a time line, along the line your body will change due to the aging process. Your lifestyle, environment and body type influences how good or bad those changes will be. From the time you are born until about the age of 21 your body grows, from that time on it is up to you how father time makes your body look. Good eating habits, exercise and the proper amount of rest will help you look younger than your chronological age. Load bearing exercise, like weight lifting, is the number one way to reverse the aging process. Fight Father Time.