Archive for May 11, 2012
Some interesting NPR stories:
We go inside the District’s latest exercise craze to see whether it’s just another fad, or the holy grail of fitness.
A new four-part documentary airing on HBO next week looks at America’s growing weight problem. John Hoffman, vice president of HBO Documentary Films and executive producer of The Weight Of The Nation, describes his three year-project to document the causes and effects of being overweight and obese in America.
Reporting in Cell Metabolism, researchers write that when people who lead relatively sedentary lives worked out the DNA in their muscle fibers changed almost immediately. Scientists also found caffeine had the same effect on isolated rodent muscles. Study co-author Juleen Zierath discusses the DNA modifications.
Read More NPR stories on Health and Fitness
What can we do as parents and mentors to encourage and support young girls to embrace physical fitness? I don’t know about you all, but I know for a fact that women do sweat! Feminine, girly, frilly women – they do. I have seen women in the gym – leaving sweat angels all over the place. I like to say “clean up on aisle 2” when I see a pool of sweat and have said it for many of women. These women clean up nicely too.
What is it about girls and puberty that they start to lose interest in so many things that will help them further along in life — math, science, fitness. They lose their self esteem, confidence, belief that they can do anything. They can do whatever they are willing to work for — just like the boys that sit next to them in class.
I let the fear of being sweaty go a long time ago — it happens, we are human and my kids, seeing mom and her friends rolled up in a ball of sweat at the end of a hard workout helps the cause. Maybe that’s the key – as parents we need to show our kids that we fit fitness in, no matter what is going on. We get sweaty, sore and spent — Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk…
Forty-eight percent of girls surveyed said that “getting sweaty is not feminine”– and almost a third of boys surveyed agreed, according to a report in the Telegraph. Fifty-seven percent of girls agreed that girls tend to drop out of physical activity because their friends do, and 76 percent of girls agreed that they feel self-conscious about their bodies; about a quarter of them feel like gym class forces them to put their bodies on display.
Apparently, the insecurity and self-consciousness continues into adulthood. A different study, released last month by the British mental health charity Mind, found that 90 percent of women older than age 30 are crippled by low self-esteem and body-confidence issues when they try to exercise in public.
Some try to get fit by exercising in the dark or wearing baggy clothing, but most tend to avoid outdoor activities entirely, their report found. Instead, 71 percent of the 1,450 women surveyed said that they were more likely to eat comfort food, 66 percent said they’d rather sleep, and 71 percent would rather find a way to be alone instead of exercise.