Demands of Exercise
A female athlete’s metabolic demands are much higher than those of sedentary women.
This is best illustrated in exercise.
During exercise, a woman is exposed to a level of stress that has no equal in life.
To illustrate this extreme internal condition, consider a high fever of 105 degrees, the core temperature that is near death. These conditions increase the metabolic rate by 100 per cent. By comparison, during a marathon, a female athlete’s metabolic rate climbs to an astounding 2000 percent of normal.
The Athlete’s Solution requires intense exercise.
Exercise is the most important component in its Diet. Exercise is far more important and outweighs any contribution from any food, supplement or drug in achieving health.
The success of this program depends on the biological adaptations that result from exercise. This Diet predicts a positive response to exercise and uses it as a natural form of metabolic enhancement. The Athlete’s Diet also believes that exercise contributes to prolonged youth.
Exercise produces unhealthy consequences such as muscle strains, sprains and pulls. One molecular consequence is the enormous amount of free radicals produced following exercise. The Athlete’s Diet anticipates these events and counters it with proper exercise nutrition.
The increased demand for antioxidants and the need to repress the predicted inflammation associated with exercise is accomplished with colorful phytochemicals. The foods that provide these compounds are described in Diet.
Exercise is a traumatic event that produces enormous amounts of free radicals upon the completion of exercise. This is due to the subsequent reoxygenation of muscle tissue. The rexygenation is needed to metabolize the lactic acid that accumulates as exercise progresses.
The Athlete’s Diet maintains that any diet that promotes health must promote exercise and any diet that promotes exercise must provide the antioxidants, nutrients and fuel to support it.
Providing these nutrients is best achieved through a colorful, complex carbohydrate diet.The rational in support of this diet and the metabolic consequences of following a high protein approach to eating are discussed in Diets.
While it is true that men and women generally observe the same dietary principals, there are nutritional and gynecological concerns that are unique to active women. These concerns include: eating disorders, osteoporosis, iron deficiency, amenorrhea, delayed puberty and premenstrual syndrome.
There are also differences in physical characteristics, which affect performance and the risk of incurring repetitive stress or acute injuries. This disparity in performance and injury patterns is less pronounced as women have become more involved in sports at a younger age.
The training and conditioning of female athletes has advanced a great deal but the number of female coaches and doctors of sports medicine remains lower than it should be. For this reason, female athletes need to become more involved with their own health.
The female revolution that began in the 1970’s has resulted in an increased participation by women in sports.
The lack of conditioning in female athletes is responsible for the increased injuries experienced by women. Overuse injuries and stress fractures are especially high in female athletes.
Shoulder injuries are also common as is knee pain and damaged anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL).
Women, who improve their training and nutrition regimen, will lower their risk of injury.
Foot pain is a common complaint among female athletes. It is possible that this due to their shoes being designed too narrow. The high-heeled dress shoes women wear in the real world may also cause problems. These shoes causes a tightening of the Achilles tendon and increases the load on the forefoot. The increased load causes injury over time.
Despite widespread acceptance, the musculoskeletal system of a male is no different from that of a male. The only real difference between the sexes is the area of the pelvis.
The spine’s ‘S’ shape rests on the pelvis and allows females to move and twist their bodies in many directions. A female’s back is composed of layers of muscle with the spinal erectors responsible for maintaining erect posture. When the female body is properly aligned, all the joint line up so that lines formed between the shoulders, hips, knees, wrists, elbows, and ankles are horizontally parallel and vertically perpendicular to each other.
This alignment requires resistance to the forces of gravity and inactivity. When these forces exceed the athlete’s ability to resist, misalignment occurs. This is a type of dysfunctional stress that damages the underlying bone and muscles.
The Athlete’s Diet recommends exercises that are designed to restore misalignment. In addition, properly performed exercise can prevent misalignment by strengthening the core muscle groups responsible for proper posture.
Movement, together with breathing, the circulation of blood and the metabolic breakdown of nutrients are the essential functions of life. The ability to carry out these processes is based on the coordinated interplay of hormones, nerve impulses, enzymes and nutrition. Health is the culmination of events that result in a more efficient coordination of those processes. Illness results when dysfunction controls the events.
Exercise promotes health in females.
The purpose of The Athlete’s Diet exercises is to restore proper function to muscles. Proper functioning muscles place the joints and bones they join, into proper alignment. Exercises are grouped according to the position of the spine in space. Some exercise place the spine in a horizonatal position, parralel to the floor while others require the spine on the floor. There are exercises that begin with the spine in a vertical position.
The act of limb extension combined with specific movement will engage all the muscles of a female and strenghten them throughout their full range of motions.
The strenthening of postural muscles improves health.
Exercises are designed to improve core muscles and restore the alignment of bones in the skeleton. The female’s skeleton, like its male counterpart, is designed to best resist the forces of gravity by this alignment. Incorrect movement produces injuryPregnancy produces diffferent strains on different muscles, which require other exercises to correct.
For many girls activity ends when they enter the educational system. They now are required to walk, carry books, listen and learn. Exercise may be required by school but fitness is not.
Today’s girls exercise far less than they should and are subjected to more stress than any generaton before them. This despite all the advances made under Title IX.
Females that are sedentary eliminate many functional movements. Sedentary females suffer more injuries than active women because their functional movements are in a state of dysfunction and are not executed properly.
The muscles that produce movement include the small muscles of the back and abdomen. These muscle atrophy because of inactivity.
The inner core of muscles suffers the most from inactivity. The larger peripheral muscles become overused to compensate for the lack of core contribution. The overall lack of movement in a woman’s daily life causes more compensation, which creates pain and dysfunction.
Proper exercise can correct dysfunction and relieve pain in women who, through poor posture and improper movement, have created compensations.
The proper alignment of bones and joints allows women to exercise their muscles through the full range of motion without incurring pains and strains.
Success in athletics depends on proper movement and
The Pregnant Athlete
Pregnancy produces stress and places increased demands on a female’s body. Women conteplating giving birth should undego a fitness program before conception. The amount of aerobic exercise that a pregnant woman should participate in is based on their conditioning, fitness level and normal exercise habits.
The changes that occur during normal pregnancy include a change and distribution of weight and an increased need for more nutrients. The cardiovascular, metabolic and hormonal changes that result from impregnation are all directed towards promoting the natural growth of the developing fetus.
Pregnancy requires a significant increase in blood to feed the develping fetus. This is accomplished via an increase in cardiac output. This occurs with an increase in blood volume as well as an increase in stroke volume.
Aerobic exercise also leads to an increase in cardiac output, which is proportional to the level and intensity of the exercise. Aerobic exercise produces an increase in VO2 max, which is the best measurement of cardiovascular fitness.
Cardiac output during exercise in pregnant athletes is thus very high and pregnant women should consult with their obstetrician regarding their exercise program to insure they are not endangering their health.
Many female athletes are often in a hurry to return their bodies to their pre-pregnant state. They are advised to once again consult with their obstetricians before doing so.