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ESSA marks Women’s Health Week by encouraging women to exercise for the right reasons
With this week being Women’s Health Week - running from 6th to 10th September 2021- Exercise & Sports Science Australia is encouraging Australian women to stop focusing on the scales when it comes to exercise, and to instead be motivated by the wide range of health and well-being benefits physical activity provides.
According to ESSA’s accredited exercise professionals working in women’s health, many of their female clients only see exercise as a way to lose weight. However, when you look at the way exercise can be promoted to women, it’s not hard to see why.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Meredith Woolsey explains “It’s so easy to get caught up in the weight loss rhetoric that is peddled by the wellness industry. But if we do that, we’re missing out on some the best reasons to move our bodies.”
This view of keeping active purely for weight loss has the potential to then create negative relationships for women with their bodies and exercise.
For Women’s Health Week, and for every week, it’s important to remember the right reasons we should be exercising.
Kiara Roscio, Accredited Exercise Physiologist advises “setting goals for weight loss can put an unrealistic and potentially unhealthy motive on exercise. A lot of the time, when people use weight loss as motivation, it’s in the form of punishment.
“They feel as though they need to ‘burn off’ lunch or ‘earn’ dessert. They put themselves through hours in the gym or a gruelling HIIT workout that they don’t enjoy. This leads to burnout, unsustainability, and potentially compulsive exercise or a disordered relationship with exercise.”
The physical and mental health benefits of exercise stretch far beyond weight loss. Ultimately, regular physical activity can help to protect you against many chronic diseases and illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, dementia, depression, anxiety, and more. Exercise is also really important for women’s health conditions that receive less attention than weight loss, such as pelvis floor disorders which include symptoms such as the frequent urge to urinate, weakened pelvic organs, and incontinence. In fact, more than one in three women experience urinary incontinence – and it’s not just those who have had children.
Esme Soan, Accredited Exercise Physiologist adds “In my work as a Women’s Health Exercise Physiologist, I see women of all ages with pelvic floor issues. From young athletes specialising in sports like horse riding or gymnastics with stress incontinence, through to women in their late 60s who believe that leaking urine is just something they have to deal with since they delivered their children (which is not true!). I’ve seen it all.”
There is so many great reasons for women to get active and it’s time they start to put their physical and mental health first. ESSA want women to focus on self-care instead of scales and to exercise for the right reasons.
When it comes to health and fitness advice, it’s also important to speak to the right exercise experts. Whether you’re starting to exercise for the first time, or are living with a chronic condition, Accredited Exercise Physiologists are university-trained professionals who will ensure that you are exercising right for you and your health.
You can find your local Accredited Exercise Physiologist via the online directory here.
To find out more about women’s health and exercise, check out ESSA's free-to-download eBook.
15th June 2021 - ESSA marks Men’s Health Week with launch of free eBook
20th May 2021 - ESSA reminds Australians that exercise can change lives
10th February 2021 - ESSA highlights the benefits of a virtual workout buddy
2nd February 2021 - ESSA celebrates 30th anniversary of supporting health through exercise
3rd November 2020 - ESSA releases free ebook promoting physical activity benefits for older adults
16th June 2020 - ESSA highlights the importance of movement for men’s mental health
10th June 2020 - ESSA urges a considered return to the gym
23rd March 2020 - ESSA launches campaign promoting physical activity during COVID-19
3rd September 2019 - ESSA highlights the power of exercise this Women’s Health Week
11th June 2019 - ESSA highlights the importance of movement this Men’s Health Week
10th May 2019 - ESSA focuses on Active Ageing during Exercise Right Week 2019
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