Hi HVPT Community!
Who is the female athlete? Is it the amazing Serena Williams? Is it the mom who uses an online workout video for 15-20 minutes when the kids are napping? Is it a collegiate level women’s soccer player? Is it a post-menopausal woman lifting weights for the first time in her life?
What if I told you the answer is YES to all of these?
Opinions can vary from person to person and many women do not consider themselves athletes. But if you are any woman who is willing to push yourself beyond the “comfort” of your current physicality, YOU are a female athlete. If you are any woman who is willing to push your mental and physical limits to achieve your goals, YOU are a female athlete. Any woman, any age, any physical activity…if you want to do it, we consider them included in the term “athlete!”
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the following guidelines for exercise in adults:
For those ages 18-64:
- At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
- Muscle-strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.
- Aerobic activity should be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes duration.
- For additional health benefits, adults should increase their moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
For those ages 65 and up:
1. All of the above + Those with poor mobility should perform physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls, 3 or more days per week.
Whatever physical activity you love to do, be it running in the spring, playing kickball in the summer, picking apples in the fall, snowshoeing in the winter or doing Crossfit year round – variability of movement is key!
Many times we get really good at performing certain activities or postures in one way, and that is our “default” strategy. It’s understandable that if you are comfortable one way, you want to keep doing it that way, BUT what happens when you are forced to do it another way? Do you end up hurting afterwards? Life is unpredictable, add a kid or a playful pet into the mix and it can become even more so! Be better prepared for those unpredictable movements like catching your toddler before they run into something or bending to get a dog toy from the depths of behind your couch! Not only will you be better prepared, but your body will become more RESILIENT and not have to “pay for that later”.
In addition, pelvic floor dysfunctions like leaking urine or having pressure “down there” are also things that can limit your physical activity. Not only that, but decreased physical activity puts us at higher risk for depression, diabetes and heart disease.
Here at Hudson Valley Physical Therapy, we can help you become more resilient and increase your variability of movement to live your life with less leaking or pain, and more play!
How are you going to keep moving? Reach out to see how we can get or keep you doing the things you love!
Arantzazu “Zazu” Cioce PT DPT
Certification in Pregnancy & Postpartum Physical Therapy
Female Athlete Level 1 Course, Brooklyn NY; 10/19-10-20, 2019. Antony Lo. mypteducation.com