6 Belly Shapes That Speak Volumes About Our Health
You feel strong, and you know they are there. You have been working out, and you can even feel them beneath the skin. But for some reason, they’re just not popping out. Maybe your abs are terribly shy. Or just plain stubborn. Or, and bear with us here, maybe there is another explanation and something practical you can do about it.
We at Bright Side know tummies can be demanding, and that even the most fit of us can struggle with some of these issues.
1. Are your abs just hidden behind natural body fat?
Yes, we’re kicking off with body fat. That greasy, creamy, genetic, and hormonal substance that has the power to make even the strongest fittest 6-pack (or 4, or even 8, to be accurate) very hard to see. Abs are one of the last muscles to get definition, and for that, they need low body fat around them. For women, this can be challenging, as fat burns slower in the female body.
However, it is really important for women to avoid having their body fat drop too low, as this can have undesirable effects, like increasing fatigue or even making their menstruation cycle irregular. If you are having this issue, consider talking to a nutritionist about your specific needs to achieve your goals.
2. Are your abs just hidden behind some natural “life happening” stuff?
Life happens in a myriad of ways. Some days you are bloated because of some food you are getting used to, others because of something you might be intolerant to. Some sugars are hard to digest, like lactose, and some people just have aerophagia, and they swallow excessive air that can cause abdominal distension.
A distended belly, for one of the reasons mentioned above, can be compared to a pregnant belly. And it doesn’t need to be a big 3-months-pregnant tummy. Early pregnancy can actually cause bloating due to hormones, as so can the menstrual cycle. So, knowing what is going on, and if you can avoid or control it, is the first step.
3. Are your abs just hidden because of some hormonal cause?
Hormones, especially when it comes to women’s bodies, are extremely relevant. And they fluctuate through lifestyle changes, such as adulthood, stress levels, or menopause. The hormonal belly is lower abdominal weight. It can manifest suddenly due to an imbalance, and it is very important to consult with a doctor if this happens.
The stressed-out belly is a way to describe how your body reacts to stress. Prolonged stress can keep stress hormone levels high, and some are strongly related to abdominal obesity. Taking “me time,” meditating, and socializing are nice ways to relax, as is getting those 8 hours of sleep and some moderate exercise.
4. Are your abs just hidden because of your personal “morph” shape?
Mesomorphs, Ectomorphs, and Endomorphs: These are the names of the different body types. Each one of us fits into one, or is between 2 of those. Why are they relevant? Because Mesomorphs might tend to be more athletic and prone to muscle gain. But Ectomorphs might struggle with weight and muscle gain, and Endomorphs might struggle with losing weight, even when they are really fit.
Each body type will gain benefits from different types of exercises. Knowing your body will help you check to see whether you are doing the right exercises for you. Endomorphs can benefit more from cardio, Ectomorphs might do best with endurance and muscle building. Your body, your needs.
5. Are your abs just hidden behind a regular less healthy position?
Marilyn Monroe might have been on to something when she said, “So keep your head high, keep your chin up (...)”. Hunching over, letting your shoulders go, slouching in chairs, or standing with a flat back that projects the body forward, are a few examples of not-so-healthy habits for our bellies. These postures can not only influence our mood in a negative way, but they make our belly poke out in a totally unnatural way.
There are many exercises that can help, but if you can be conscious about it and try to sit properly, stretch regularly, and take breaks to walk around — you’ll probably notice a difference. And not just visually. When you keep your pelvic area in the right position, you’ll also help avoid pain and tightness throughout the body.
6. Are your abs just hidden because you’ve been through pregnancy?
And finally, the one many mommies don’t talk about: the mommy belly. This is an area that falls below a woman’s belly button after birth, and it can become a serious health issue. The good news is, it is never too late to work on bettering it through exercise. Sitting cross-legged, standing in a lunge, on all fours, or in a bridge pose are some ideas. Check with your doctor and an exercise professional.
Did you find a description of your belly here? And did any of them surprise you? Which one?