Mesomorph: Muscular (Driven and Athletic)
"Mesomorphs bring an intensity to everything they do," says Barrett. "Exercise is like therapy for them. It calms them down and helps their moods stay on an even keel."
Naturally well-proportioned, you're blessed with good coordination, endurance, strength, and agility. You develop muscle easily and master sports quickly. Another thing you're blessed with? A pleasing physique. (Think Birth of Venus or Michelangelo's David.) Note, though, that because you push your physical limits, you're prone to injury.
Confident, intelligent, and creative, you radiate a magnetism that puts you at the center of attention; you also possess great stores of motivation. The downside? Sometimes your intensity can turn to grumpiness and anger.
You're interested in anything new, so you love the latest fitness craze. You also thrive on competition, intensity, and "feeling the burn."
Anything you see as too slow or wimpy (such as water aerobics).
Your Dosha: Pitta
Of medium height and build, folks that fall under what Ayurveda calls pitta tend to have thin reddish or brown hair and easily irritated or inflamed skin. Because pitta rules digestive fire, you're prone to overheating, resulting in excessive sweating, acid indigestion, or strong emotions such as hate or jealousy.
Go ahead: Indulge your natural athleticism and love of high-intensity activity with cardio at least three times a week, whether it's cycling, running, boot camp, Vinyasa yoga, or dancing. But be careful not to overdo it. To balance out your competitive nature, incorporate contemplative practices such as tai chi, qigong, or Yin yoga into your weekly routine. "The most nurturing forms of exercise teach patience and introspection to balance your ambition," says Kries. Also make time for informal exercise (long walks with the dog, playing Frisbee with the kids) to give yourself periodic breaks from your propensity for intensity.
Spinning class or laps at the pool
45-minute walk with the dog
Strength-training: 30 minutes of weights at the gym
15 minutes of qigong or tai chi
Frisbee with the kids
Ellen Barrett, Body+Soul's mind-body fitness expert; Jennifer Kries, a Philadelphia-based Pilates instructor and creator of the "Hot Body Cool Mind: The Life Force Power Workout" DVDs.
See more workouts based on body types.
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