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Women

Many Female Athletes Need to Eat More

For the most part, sports nutrition science is bro-science. That’s because the vast majority of studies to date have focused on men, leaving active women to assume the same results apply to them. But that is slowly changing.

Are 10,000 Steps Necessary?

Are some of your clients obsessed with achieving their step counts every day? While 10,000 steps is a popular marker, it turns out that taking as few as 4,400 steps per day is associated with a lower risk of death for women with a mean age of 72 years.

“Clearly, even a modest number of steps was related to lower mortality rate among these older women,” said principal investigator I-Min Lee, MBBS ScD, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Indoor Cycling: Safe for Prenatal?

You’re helping participants get set up on their bikes in your 6 p.m. cycling class when someone taps you lightly on the shoulder: Is it okay to ride if she’s pregnant? To your knowledge, you’ve never had a pregnant participant in class, and you don’t know how to respond.

Women Need Protein, Too

For years we’ve heard that people who regularly lift weights can benefit from eating higher amounts of protein than the general population. There’s just one glaring problem. Most of the research behind this advice was conducted on men, with little focus on women. Now, a study in the April 2019 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise has shed light on the specific protein needs of this understudied demographic.

Breast Cancer Survivors and Group Exercise

Research shows that exercise benefits breast cancer survivors, but many do not stick with programs. What might appeal enough to increase adherence? A pilot study found that group exercise designed specifically for people surviving breast cancer resulted in more improvements to quality of life than similar exercise programming led by personal trainers. The study is available in Oncology Nursing Forum (2019; doi:10.1188/19.0NF.185-97).

Weighted Step-Training Benefits

If you’re looking for a different way to progress a client’s lower-body strength, consider adding a weighted vest to the training program. Specifically, wearing a progressively heavier weighted vest while stepping may be effective in boosting lower-body power and functional ability among older women.

The Fourth Trimester: Postpartum Exercise

It’s not over in 9 months. A new mother’s body keeps changing long after the baby arrives. Hormonal shifts, breastfeeding and risks like pelvic organ prolapse (see “3 Issues for Postpartum Exercisers,” below) complicate the weeks and months after childbirth.

Go Fish To Nourish A Baby Bump

Moms-to-be should visit the fishmonger more often. In a study published in the journal Pediatric Research, scientists in Finland collected nutrition information from 56 pregnant women using food diaries; the scientists then measured blood levels of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (aka omega-3 fats) in both mothers and babies when the newborns were 1 month old.

Three people sitting in meditation.

Growth in Yoga and Meditation Practice

Americans continue to turn to yoga and meditation as leading ways to improve health, according to data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). In 2017, yoga was the most commonly used complementary health approach, practiced by 14.3% of American adults (35.2 million). This represents an increase of almost 13 million practitioners since 2012. Meditation was the second most popular complementary health practice, used by 14.2% of adults. In growth, however, meditation outpaced yoga, with participation more than tripling from 2012 (4.1%).

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