One’s obesity is surely not a sign of good health. On the other hand, having a good body shape usually does indicate good health. Body shape is based on the size of physical features and overall balance of the body. Bodies come in different shapes: rectangular or cone shape in men, and hourglass, pear- and apple-shape in women. For a person to improve his/her body shape and for the body to function optimally, it is essential to have a lifestyle that focuses on eating a balanced diet, along with adequate physical activity, sleep and relaxation.1
A good body shape has a lot of benefits apart from just looking good. It reduces medical expenses, since the risk of health hazards, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart ailments are lessened. A good body shape also boosts a person’s confidence.
Researcher S. Grogan from Staffordshire University, UK indicates that body size satisfaction is related to body image; and, this indicates the person’s feelings and thoughts about his or her body.2 Researchers have reported that exercises are essential and beneficial in maintaining good body shape and that they— along with a proper diet—promote good health. Such scientists have also suggested that body shape satisfaction and weight loss practices are complex and depend on factors like body size, psychological factors and health condition. Self-approval also differs by race and sex.3, 4
Exercises are definitely essential for getting into shape. Those like aerobics, in-line skating, dancing, hiking, swimming, jumping rope, and briskly walking can definitely improve body shape. Toning exercises should also be considered to reduce body flab by tightening the underlying muscles.5
Nutritious food eaten as part of a healthy diet is also essential in improving body shape. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, oats and seeds—which are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals—should be eaten along with a proper fluid intake.
- Abravanel Elliot MD. Dr. Abravanel’s Body Type Diet and Lifetime Nutrition Plan. Bantam Books. 1999.
- Grogan S. Body Image and Health: Contemporary Perspectives. J Health Psychol. 2006; 11: 523–530.
- Anderson LA, Eyler AA, Galuska DA, et al. Relationship of Satisfaction with Body Size and Trying to Lose Weight in a National Survey of Overweight and Obese Women Aged 40 and Older, United States. Prev Med. 2002; 35: 390–396.
- Wildes JE, Emery RE, Simons AD. The Roles of Ethnicity and Culture in the Development of Eating Disturbance and Body Dissatisfaction: A Meta-analytic Review. Clin Psychol Rev. 2001; 21: 521–551.
- Davis RB, Turner LW. A Review of Current Weight Management: Research and Recommendations. J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2001; 13(1): 15–19.