Do you have great intentions to be more active but struggle to make it happen? Are you like many of us who keep finding excuses about why you’re not exercising enough? Here’s our latest blog from Jess, our Exercise Physiologist, to find out how exercise is proven to have a significant impact on a woman’s health throughout the different stages of life.
With a greater focus on women’s health, what does it mean and how can we improve it?
“Women’s Health” is an umbrella term used to describe any number of health conditions which may affect women through the life stages. From puberty to pregnancy, motherhood to menopause, a women’s body undergoes incredible transformations, some of which can take a toll. Exercise has proven benefits to help moderate and manage changes through the life stages, as well prevent or manage chronic health conditions.
Australian women are undertaking any number of roles each day. Wife, mother, daughter, chef, taxi driver, co-worker, CEO, there is no denying a women’s day is busy and sometimes it can be a struggle to make our health a priority. With this in mind it is not surprising that one in two Australian women are not sufficiently active, and are experiencing a greater proportion of the total burden of disease.
Exercise During Pregnancy and Postpartum
A women’s body undergoes amazing transformation during pregnancy and there is also no shortage of information about the do’s and don’ts during this time, particularly around exercising safely. Research shows exercise, including aerobic and strength exercises, during pregnancy can have a 40% reduction in the risk of major complications including pre-eclampsia, gestational hypertension or gestational diabetes.
While exercising post-partum will be different for all mums, dependent on delivery or any complications which may have arisen, a gradual return to exercise will help relieve stress and prevent postnatal depression as well as improve abdominal and pelvic floor strength to reduce the risk of prolapse or incontinence.
In short, an exercise program tailored to you is essential due to the benefit for both you and your bub and can assist during labour, childbirth and post-partum recovery. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice from your obstetrician and a qualified health professional, such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, who will be able to tailor an exercise program to suit your individual needs.
Exercise During Menopause and Beyond
Another period of significant change to a women’s body occurs during menopause. The female body is challenged with changing body composition, energy levels, hormone balance and more. It is also a period during which a women’s risk of chronic health conditions, including breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, begin to rise.
One of the most significant changes to occur during menopause is the reduction of oestrogen, an important hormone for maintaining bone density. Strength-based exercise is particularly important to continue to load muscles, bones and joints which will maintain strength and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and potential fractures.
As we continue to age we continue to experience a gradual decline in muscle mass and subsequent strength, our reaction time may slow and our balance and proprioception may deteriorate. Keeping active and performing strength and balance exercises are a crucial component of reducing our risk of falls, slips or near-misses.
Things to Remember
Exercise IS for everyone! But it’s not always a “one size fits all”. Seeking the advice of an Accredited Exercise Physiologist will empower you to feel comfortable and in control of your exercise, making YOUR health a priority and allowing you to live a happier and healthier life with the ones you love!
To get a FREE personalised exercise assessment from one of the expert Exercise Physiologists, call our friendly admin team on 1300273747 or book online.
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