Women and Exercise - The Basics and FAQsWomen and Exercise - The Basics and FAQs by by Sarah Cohen
There are plenty of reasons why women should exercise, but some aren't as obvious as others.
To decrease anxiety
To increase flexibility
To build bone density
To increase lean muscle mass
To improve athletic performance
To control weight and eating habits
To increase cardiovascular health
To increase motor coordination and balance
To decrease risk factor for heart disease, uterine cancer, breast cancer and diabetes
But what constitutes exercise in the first place? There are two main types of exercise:
1. Cardiovascular Exercise walking, running, biking, swimming, rowing, water running, dancing
2. Strengthening Exercises weight training, yoga, pilates, plyometrics, exercise bands
Osteoporosis - The Silent Thief
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes a decrease in bone mass density, resulting in weakened bones that are vulnerable to fracture and deformation. It's referred to as the "silent thief" because fractures are often the first symptom - though by then, the disease is often very advanced. Fractures commonly affect the spine, hips and wrist area. Approximately 12 million Americans are affected by this disease, and it's estimated that nearly 40 per cent of U.S. Caucasian women and 13 per cent of U.S. Caucasian men aged 50 or older will experience at least one fragility fracture (caused by osteoporosis) in their lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions About Women and Exercise
How does Exercise Help Increase Bone Mineral Density?
Exercise can help to build up your bone mineral density. The vertical trabeculae in the bone are the "weight bearing" structures, and their density can be increased with exercise.
How Does Exercise Decrease the Risk of Heart Attacks?
Regular exercise can alter your cholesterol in just a few months. As little as 30 minutes a day can decrease your LDL (Bad Cholesterol) and increase your HDL (Good Cholesterol).
What is the Best Form of Exercise for Weight Control?
For the majority of the population, a combination of both cardiovascular training and weight training is the most efficient way to control your weight. Recent research shows that a shorter period of interval cardio training (20 minutes divided into alternating 30-second intervals of intense and easy cardio training), along with a 30 to 40 minute weight training program produces the best results in terms of decreased body fat percentage and an increase in lean muscle mass.
How Early Can a Child Begin Regular Exercise?
Children of all ages can and should be exercising regularly. The rates of American childhood obesity are alarmingly high (tripling from 6.5 per cent 20 years ago to 19.6 per cent today). Heavy weight-bearing exercise should be avoided until after puberty, but cardiovascular activity is encouraged at any age.
How Can Walking or Running Alter Premenstrual Symptoms?
Just as our heart and muscles adapt when exercising, so does the endocrine system. Exercise can cause the ovaries to adapt by decreasing the level of estrogen that they produce, which can lead to a decrease in fluid retention, breast soreness, and irritability. Exercise also releases "feel good" hormones called endorphins.
How Does Exercise Help Pre and Post-Menopausal Women?
Studies have shown that exercise helps to relieve and prevent many menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal and urinary irritation, insomnia and depression. Post-menopausal women who exercise are half as likely to develop diabetes.
As a Chiropractor, Kinesiologist and a Personal Trainer Dr. Cohen has ten years experience in athletic training and rehabilitation and is currently working with runners and triathletes at the city, varsity, national and professional levels. Dr. Cohen has been a guest speaker for trainers and athletes at the Toronto and Whistler Can-Fit-Pro Conference, HSBC Triathlon Series Awards Event and Running Room Clinics on various topics including running biomechanics, training techniques and injury prevention and treatment. http://www.fitnessrepublic.com
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