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Do You Know Your Body Shape?

The skies are full of millions of stars, but body shapes are typically classified in one of four categories; cone, hourglass, pear or ruler.

And, the body shape you were born with will not change - regardless of how much exercise or dieting you do or how tall, short, heavy or thin you are. Knowing your body shape will help you select clothes that flatter you the most and can help with the development of an exercise program that will help you make the most of the shape you have.

In a nutshell, your body shape is determined by how and where your weight is located. However, please keep in mind that one shape is just as good as another. Your body shape was predetermined by your gene pool and is similar to your hair. You might prefer red hair, but it doesnít mean you are better or worse off because you have brown hair. Determining your body shape is simply a way to help you make the most of what you have.

There are a couple of ways to determine which shape you have. First, get naked. Thatís right, remove all your clothing. Even a pair of underwear can change your true appearance. Now, stand in front of a full-length mirror and take a look at yourself from top to bottom.

Try to picture the form of a dress beginning at your shoulders going down to your hips. Look for the contours - this would be the skinniest section of the waist to the rib cage as well as the line of the hip that will give you an overall picture of your body shape.

Another approach is to take the measurement of your hips and shoulders at their widest point along with a measurement of your waist at the skinniest part. Check the following categories to see where you fit.

If your measurements do not differ greatly between the chest and waist you would be considered a cone. Your chest tends to be somewhat larger and extra weight seems to land in your stomach, chest, arm and back regions.

Those with an hourglass shape tend to have a large measurement difference between the waist and chest and waist and hip, the waist is smaller creating a curvy appearance. Your extra weight finds a home in either the upper or lower region of your body, but your waist will always be smaller.

Pear body shapes are typically larger in the hips with a substantial measurement difference from the waist to the hips and weight is usually stored in the buttock, hip and thigh region.

And the final shape is known as a ruler. Measurements tend to vary only slightly from your chest to your waist and hips and your extra weight is usually located in the middle.

Making a correct body shape determination is more difficult on people who are overweight since we tend to focus only on the problem areas. You have to observe the weight distribution - that's what makes the determination - not the amount of weight.

You do not have to be thin to be ruler shaped. Itís the relationship between the chest, waist and hip measurements that count!

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