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New Delhi, March 8 – Gone are the days when women wanted to be frail and petite. There have been various stereotypes associated with women’s fitness – women shouldn’t lift heavy weights, women shouldn’t do very high intensity workouts, women shouldn’t focus on building muscle – so on and so forth. However, all of these stereotypes are being broken many times in the recent past and women are embracing workouts now more than ever.
Women’s health and fitness are essential for several reasons. Firstly, maintaining good health helps women to live longer and happier lives. Women who are healthy and fit can enjoy a higher quality of life, have more energy, and are less likely to suffer from chronic diseases.
One main factor contributing to this is awareness. There have been many resources and researches stating the importance of regular workouts, especially for women. Women’s health is a crucial area of focus that cannot be ignored. Regular exercise helps improve heart health, strengthen bones & muscles and maintain a healthy lifestyle by reducing the risk of chronic health diseases like heart disease, diabetes etc. It is essential for women to prioritise their health and well-being by making healthy lifestyle choices and seeking regular medical checkups.
Women have different and unique health concerns as compared to men. This includes reproductive health, breast cancer, heart diseases, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety. It’s important that all of this is addressed and maintaining a good workout regimen coupled with good nutrition is key to ward away these diseases and health conditions.
In women, hormones play a crucial role in regulating menstrual cycles, fertility, and menopause. But hormonal imbalances can lead to a range of health issues, such as weight gain, mood swings, and menstrual irregularities. Exercise and good nutrition helps keep this in check.
Regular exercise has shown to have many health benefits, including helping to regulate hormonal balance in women. It can also help reduce the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that can contribute to hormonal imbalances.
A balanced diet with the right amount of fruits, vegetables, protein, carbohydrates and fats can help maintain healthy hormone levels.
Over the years, women have started including different workout forms. May it be resistance training, HIIT or sports. You can now see many more women lifting heavy weights in the gym and no more sticking to lesser weights and trying to just do many reps. While it was once believed that lifting weights would make a woman look ‘bulky’ and/or ‘manly’, those are just some of the myths. Although HIIT can be a quite intense form of exercise, many women are now looking forward to it as a preferred workout choice.
Women these days have also consciously started paying more attention to what they eat. While the workouts help burn away the calories, it is important to keep in mind the choices you make with your food and the detrimental effects that bad nutritional choices can have on the body in the years to come.
Here are some simple points to keep in mind for overall well being:
Engage in resistance training
Resistance training or weight training can help women improve their physical appearance, increase their muscle mass, and improve their overall strength. In addition, it can boost their metabolism, which can help them burn fat and maintain a healthy weight.
Eat your proteins
Protein is not just for those who want to build muscle. It is a necessary macronutrient which is important for the body to recover well and keep your muscles and joints strong. Foods high in protein include lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, and nuts. It’s also completely okay to include whey protein supplements if you are not able to meet your protein requirements through a regular diet.
Get Regular Health Screenings
Regular health screenings are crucial for women’s health. Women should get regular checkups and screenings for conditions such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, and osteoporosis. Women should also get regular cholesterol and blood pressure checks, and other recommended screenings based on age and personal risk factors.
Pay Attention to Menstrual Health
Women should pay attention to their menstrual health and understand what is normal for them. Women should keep track of their menstrual cycle and any changes in bleeding patterns, pain, or other symptoms.
Consume foods rich in Iron
Iron is essential for women’s health, as women lose iron during menstruation. Iron-rich foods include red meat, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, spinach, and fortified cereals.
It’s okay to workout during your periods
Contrary to popular belief, women don’t necessarily have to skip exercise due to their menstrual cycle, although it is important to be aware of how to approach training around your time of the month. Higher intensity exercises can be performed during your follicular phase and you can reduce the intensity as the peak of the luteal phase arrives. Exercise has also shown to relieve certain PMS symptoms like cramps. This could however be subjective to each one.
(Spoorthi, Fitness Expert, Cultfit)