Let’s say that Andrew and John both walk into your gym on the same day. Andrew is 30 years old, has a BMI of 24 and John is 31, has a BMI of 26. Both men ask for a trainer to help them achieve their goals. Because both men are similar in age and are both in the healthy weight range, you may think that they’d benefit from similar exercises. They’d most likely be given a routine with moderate cardio exercises and plenty of weight lifting with 8-12 reps of increasing weights as their muscles and strength build.
But what if you knew that Andrew has ectomorphic tendencies and is naturally structured for endurance exercise and a program that doesn’t overtax his spine. And John’s endomorphic tendencies make him naturally able to lift weights but high impact cardio could cause pain and damage to his knees and ankles. Applying the personal talents and needs to a regimen that is specifically structured to improve one’s unique body is where programs can greatly differ from one to another.
In addition to exercise, dietary needs can change drastically. It will be important for Andrew to increase his carbohydrates for high energy, especially during his endurance exercise, but proteins can be harder to digest so they should be well cooked or combined with digestive enzymes. That’s because Andrew’s body is not good at breaking down raw food and pulling out the nutrients. He actually receives more nutrients from well-cooked foods and will get low on protein unless he eats meat that is so slow cooked that it is falling apart and can be cut with a fork. However, John’s slower digestive system will need to keep carbohydrates to a minimum and make sure he gets plenty of healthy fats and raw and cooked vegetables with a moderate amount of animal protein.
We also know that Andrew is prone to headaches from too much carbon dioxide and should seek lots of fresh air and outdoor fitness, but also warm and dry conditions for optimal performance. On the other hand, John’s HealthType will benefit greatly from swimming or exercises in well-ventilated places because his body tends to run hot and easily overheat and works best with cool temperatures with light humidity.
Their unique circadian rhythms teach us that John should go to bed late and wake up late, whereas Andrew will be healthiest if he is early to bed and early to rise. So whereas Andrew may choose to workout in the morning, John would do best being less active in the morning and doing afternoon or evening workouts.
If one size doesn’t fit all, why do we think our exercise routines and diets should? Though it’s true that extreme exercise or diet can drastically change a body to look good in pictures, it’s the full healthy lifestyle that will get a body healthy, performing at its best, and still in the weight range with toned muscles that are perfect for the beach. But all this talk of HealthTypes and personalization; how is the average person supposed to know what’s right for them specifically? One easy way is to use technology like ph360 and Shae which figure it all out for you and provide the appropriate advice.