Working out and reproductive health
Normal female bodily functions have been pathologized as “conditions” or “diseases”, which affects the way we think about them. The truth is, these functions and processes have been around for quite some time and are showing no signs of disappearing. While some, like pregnancy, may require a little extra planning and exercise modification, in general there is no reason whatsoever to believe that weight training and other exercise, done in moderation, are problematic.
Weight training during pregnancy
Now that women are weight training seriously in ever-greater numbers, it is inevitable that many will become pregnant and worry about how best to adapt their training to its demands. The general good news is that active women with normal, low-risk pregnancies do not have to give up their beloved weight training in order to keep themselves and baby healthy.
Butch up even while ballooning up and throwing up!
No matter how joyful an event it is, in physiological terms the later stages of pregnancy and birth are a trauma to the body. Connective tissues are forced beyond their normal limits, the body’s weight distribution shifts wildly, and delicate parts are damaged. Contemplating a postpartum workout must take into account that the mother, especially if this is her first child, probably feels as if she has just spent thirty hours excreting a watermelon (Krista’s note: I had an expectant first-time mother email me after reading this article to complain about my choice of language.
Don’t fear the testosterone
If you’ve learned anything from this site, it should be that weight training won’t make women into huge muscle-beasts. Why not? It has to do with a little molecule called testosterone. You have it, just not lots of it. Learn more about how it works with guest biochemistress OMGBFFA.
In the words of every sleazy comedian, “Men and women, they’re so different. Back me up on this, ladies.” I’ll spare you the crappy jokes about the toilet seat (hyuk hyuk) whose “Best Before” dates, like the milk in the back of my fridge, have long expired.
Nevertheless if you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that boys and girls’ bodies are at least distinguishable from one other. Here are a few tips for accommodating our unique girly shapes.