When it comes to nutrition, as with many other things, women and men require most of the same dietary needs. They both need to get the recommended servings of the major food groups; they both require calories for energy, and need to follow a sound diet in order to supplement their workouts. However, there are certain nutrients that women need to pay more attention to than men, and for good reason
As women grow older, they become more susceptible to osteoporosis. This leads to bones becoming frail more prone to injuries. Therefore, women need to increase their intake to about 1200-1500 mg of calcium per day. Calcium is also an essential nutrient to support growth and development during adolescence. Calcium helps maintain strong, dense bones, helps blood clotting, and regulates blood pressure during pregnancy. Major sources of calcium are milk and dairy products, fortified orange juice, and spinach. Resistance training also helps with increasing the density of bones.
Women may lose 15 to 20 mg of iron each month during menstruation, but they're also more likely to diet and limit the foods that help them get the minerals they need. Women need more iron than men, but men are more likely to eat the richest source of iron: red meat. Iron helps prevent anemia and strengthens the immune system. The best sources of iron are red meat, poultry, eggs, potatoes with skin, dried figs, and dark green leafy vegetables.
Folic acid helps protect against birth defects and is essential for women bearing children. Good sources are orange juice, spinach, strawberries, and peanuts.
These are some nutrients that women need to pay close attention to but must still be aware of their overall diet. Be conscious of you daily diet and when and where you are getting the majority of your calories from, especially when you are working out on a regular basis.
By Eric Knight, B.A. Hon. Kinesiology, CPT (Canfit Pro)
Women's fitness is very important, but most women just don't feel like they have the time to commit to it. They also feel guilty if they spend their time on something for themselves instead of for their family. This is especially true of working women with children. They often feel like their children have been without them enough hours on any given day. Women's fitness doesn't have to mean you don't have time for your family. In fact, it is a great way to spend time with your family. Everyone will benefit from the time together as well as getting fit.
Walking is a great exercise for women's fitness. It is very simple to walk with small children too. Simply get a stroller designed for walking or running. Pulling your children in a wagon is easy too. Ask another mom with children to join you. This will motivate you to keep moving and give you someone to visit with during your walks. 30 minutes of exercise each day is essential for women's fitness. I am sorry to break it to you, but carrying groceries and chasing after children doesn't count!
Yoga and aerobics are popular methods for women's fitness. You can purchase tapes to do them at home on your own schedule. If you choose to do this, make sure you have plenty of open space to move around. Make sure you schedule time to exercise as well or it won't get done. Ask your spouse to help you fit this in by giving the children a bath or reading them a story while you workout. Most gyms offer yoga and aerobics for women's fitness as well. Call to find out how to join, the hours, and what classes are offered. It is important to find activities you enjoy or you won't stick with them.
Weight lifting can be a part of women's fitness too. Many women shy away from it because they are afraid of bulking up or looking manly. This isn't likely to happen because of the different hormones men and women have. Weight lifting is a great part of women's fitness because you will build lean muscle. The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn while exercising and relaxing. You will also become more toned. Lifting small amounts of weight with several reps is the most effective method.
Women's fitness becomes more important as you get older. It can help you look younger and have a more appealing body. We tend to gain weight as we get older because our metabolism slows down. Your bones can become more brittle and you can develop serious health issues. Women's fitness can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes. It can also help regulate your period and reduce the effects of PMS, both mentally and physically. Some women find staying fit helps them get through menopause easier as well. If you only take time to do one thing for yourself this is it, women's fitness will benefit you now and in the future.