I've heard that there are certain exercises for certain body types, like the apple and pear. Does this really make a difference? I'm an apple. --iVillager goddess
"Pear" and "apple" are terms to describe the shape of a person's body with regard to where they store fat. Pears tend to store fat below their waists, usually on their hips and thighs. Apples store fat above their waists, around the mid-section. Unfortunately, there aren't specific exercises for different body types. The same exercises work for everyone: Olympic rower, soccer mom or grandfather. If any of these people want stronger biceps, then they can all use dumbbell curls to get them. Determining your body shape can be used as a predictor for risk of diseases related to obesity, like coronary artery disease and diabetes, but a more precise method of calculating your degree of risk is by measuring your waist to hip ratio. You can probably get a complete fitness evaluation at a YMCA, health club or at the exercise science department of a local college. Body shape is just one of the factors to be considered when assessing your risk for disease. Other factors, such as family history, tobacco use, cholesterol levels and lifestyle also have to be taken into account. A person who exercises regularly, doesn't smoke, has acceptable cholesterol and no family history of heart disease may be heavier than their ideal weight and still have less risk than a skinny, pack-a-day smoker with high cholesterol. So I'm sorry to tell you that there is no miracle exercise that will slim your apple-like self. But the good news is that you can pick any exercise you like to do to get in shape.