When it comes to fitness and training, women and men are not created equal.
For women, traditional training and exercise programs can cause muscle imbalances and set you up for injuries. Group training, boot camp classes and machine based exercises assume that everyone has the same body, with the same needs, that can handle the same movements and impact. That is simply not the case. You may not feel the effects now but it could be putting undue stress on your body that will result in injury, poor posture and chronic pain later on in life.
Issues faced by women
- Hormonal imbalance
- Poor posture
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Poor core strength and muscular imbalance
Natural differences in women
And these are just a few…
- Wider hips – designed for childbirth, wider hips can set off the angle of the muscles between your hips and knees. This can cause tightness and pain.
- First rib angle – a woman’s rib angle can be steeper than a man’s. This affects the position of the head and shoulders, pushing them forward. When the head becomes misaligned and moved forward, pressure and strain is added to the neck muscles. (Poor posture).
- Breasts- the added weight on your chest puts extra strain on your posture and often women compensate by hunching forward. This puts strain on your neck, shoulder and back muscles and can cause you to experience a significant amount of pain and discomfort. (Poor posture).
- Fat storage – women have 5 times more fat cells than men and their fat cells are larger
- Hormones – monthly fluctuations can cause bloating, cramping and can negatively affect mood. Women are also more susceptible to injury during their cycle because the joints are looser and muscles shut down in response to the pain caused by the hormonal fluctuations. Exercise and nutrition can help to regulate and minimize hormonal fluctuation.
Women are more prone to be affected by posture and muscle imbalances. Some causes are:
- Wearing high heels
- Swaying hips (lower centre of gravity)
- Carrying children
- Carrying heavy bags on one shoulder
- Using machines for weight training
- Boot camp style classes
Importance of good nutrition
More common in women than in men is the struggle with weight. Nutrition plays a major role in weight management. Social pressures and a lack of understanding lead to poor eating habits. While over eating can lead to weight gain, under eating can too. Not eating enough is starving the body, which leads to hormonal imbalance and the release of fat storage hormones.