Physical exercise is any bodily movement that uses energy, and which improves and maintains health. Despite its persistent recommendation throughout the population, the percentage of women who exercise in the world is much lower compared to men. In Mexico around 48% of men do some physical activity while only 35% of women do.
Exercise is beneficial for everyone, it increases self-esteem, helps with stress, controls weight, and helps prevent chronic diseases. In the case of women there is also a greater mineralization of the bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis; performing physical activity reduces the average risk of breast cancer by 25%, improves posture, and in pregnant women it helps prevent gestational diabetes.
The sports most performed by women are swimming, cycling, gymnastics, volleyball, and soccer. Compared to strength exercises, aerobic exercises are usually the most preferred and practiced in gym facilities. This is due to the myth that has been incorporated in into society about “muscle development” in women when weightlifting.
Strength training is necessary for toning muscles, reducing body fat, preventing injuries, osteoporosis, and for aesthetic results. It is important to mention that in the case of women, the hormonal difference compared to men prevents excessive muscle growth.
To obtain better results, it is essential to combine both aerobic and strength exercises, and not focus on one daily routine, since usually the same fear of masculinization prevents training from being suitable for the desired changes. For women, the optimal dose of physical activity varies from person to person. Mostly, it has been recommended to perform at least 150 minutes per week, with a minimum of two non-consecutive days per week of strengthening exercises. Remember that before starting any sport or physical activity it is essential to go to your sports medicine doctor for advice and a general check-up to prevent any injury or complication.