Overweight women aged 65–80, take heed: Excess fat significantly impairs ambulation and leg strength, say researchers from the University of New Hampshire. The researchers separated 25 women into a normal-weight group and an overweight group. The women were tested for strength and rate of torque development in the knee extensors and flexors and the ankle plantarflexors and dorsiflexors. Then, during walking tests at standard and maximal speeds, the scientists measured muscle-activation, spatiotemporal and kinetic-gait variables.
Attracting and maintaining a client base can be a struggle. To be successful, it helps to understand what types of exercise appeal to specific populations. For middle-aged women, the experts suggest keeping the intensity moderate. The study, reported at the North American Menopause Society meeting in Washington, DC, included 134 women aged 40–60. The goal was to determine whether vigorous-intensity exercise and moderate-intensity exercise had different psychological effects on the women.
According to the 2011 10Q Report: Advancing Women’s Heart Health Through Improved Research, Diagnosis and Treatment, heart disease causes an estimated 8.6 million deaths among American women annually and is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Nearly 50% of women are expected to die from heart disease or stroke.newsletter_teaser: According to the 2011 10Q Report: Advancing Women’s Heart Health Through Improved Research, Diagnosis and Treatment, heart disease causes an estimated 8.6 million deaths among American women annually and is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. Nearly 50% of women are expected to die from heart disease or stroke.
Having mom stay active while pregnant can be good for both mom and baby. A recent study suggests that a mom’s fitness endeavors can have a positive impact on her baby’s heart health. The goal of the study was to determine whether a mom’s physical activity during pregnancy would have lasting positive effects on her child. According to the data, a newborn whose mother was physically active during pregnancy would reap rewards from that activity for up to 1 month after birth.
Women who joined a mind-body stress management program had better success becoming pregnant with in vitro fertilization (IVF) than those who did not join the program, according to a study published in Fertility and Sterility (2011; 95, 2269–73). Reduced fertility is associated with stress; however, it is unclear whether infertility causes stress or whether stress causes infertility.
Consistent practice of an Iyengar yoga routine helped breast cancer survivors reduce fatigue and improve mood and quality of life in a pilot study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2011;doi:10.1155/2011/623168). Persistent fatigue that includes physical, mental and emotional exhaustion is an ongoing challenge for up to one-third of breast cancer survivors for months or even years after medical treatment is over.
Relaxation exercises such as guided imagery [GI] may help both the expectant mother and the growing fetus to relax, according to a study published in Early Human Development (2011; 87, 121–27). Pregnancy-associated stress can influence fetal growth and gestation length, and can promote prematurity and low birth weight. This study’s purpose was to investigate whether a fetus could participate momentarily in maternal relaxation and, if so, to determine the underlying mechanisms responsible for the transferral.
It’s well known that female athletes appear predisposed to catastrophic knee injuries. A recent study suggests that a 4-week jump-training program may ward off such injuries. The study, published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2010; 24 , 3427–32), included 15 women basketball players whose knee valgus angle was analyzed during two landing tasks: drop jump landing and a crossover hop during a jump shot. The players then completed a 4-week jump-training program in which they received guidance on landing technique.