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花旗国的半边天

An Exploration of Women's Issues

 
 
 

日志

 
 

妇女健身 (Women's Fitness)  

2011-05-27 13:56:59|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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妇女健身 (Womens Fitness) - 美国马尾妹 - 花旗国的半边天
 

一提到健身,你可能就会联想到健身室里的高强度训练,人们为 了练出一身肌肉不惜汗流浃背地奋力举重。这种传统的对于健身的印象似乎与女性无关,因为按照传统的审美标准,鼓突的肌肉长在男性身上也许迷人,但如果长在 女士们身上则另当别论了。但是随着时间过去,保健文化越来越受女士们的青睐。今天,大量的产品和项目都是为促进女性对健身的重视而设。在某程度上,受这些 产品和项目的影响,近年来定期健身的妇女数目显著增加了。根据疾病预防控制中心发布的数据显示,从20012005年,每周至少进行五次高强度锻炼的美国女性增长了8.6%。女士们日益增 加的体育锻炼,为提高女性的身心健康迈进了重要的一半。         


  Exercise has often been associated with tough workouts at the gym and sweaty bodies working hard to lift heavy weights in a desperate attempt to buff up.  This traditional image of exercise seems to exclude women because the conventional beauty standards dictate that the bulging muscles that are attractive on men are not attractive on women.  However, the culture surrounding fitness and exercise has over time gradually grown to be more welcoming to women.  Today, there is an abundance of products and programs designed to promote the importance of women's fitness.  In part because of these products and programs, there has been a massive growth in the numbers of women exercising regularly in recent years; according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of American women who rigorously exercised five times or more a week rose 8.6 percent from 2001 to 2005.  This growing physical activity among women is an important step towards creating better standards of physical and mental health for women.


Over the past few decades, there has been a sudden explosion in fitness products and programs in America specifically designed for women.  In 2005, a magazine called Women's Health was created to exclusively deal with issues related to women's fitness and overall health.  Its well-established counterpart, Men's Health, began publication almost two decades earlier in 1987, but it was only recently that there was enough interest in women's fitness to make a female health magazine profitable enough.  Additionally, women's gyms have begun to crop up around the country, offering women the opportunity to exercise in a more relaxed environment with fitness programs specifically designed to their particular needs.  Some products seem to be nothing more than marketing ploys– for example, I recently saw a commercial for a women's dumbbell that seemed to merely be a pink version of the original male version.  Nonetheless, their attempt to cash in on the women's fitness market is indicative of the growing interest in exercise among women that makes that market a profitable one.

In addition to the marketing side of the women's fitness revolution, there is a genuine interest in the ability of exercise to positively affect women's physical and emotional health. Scientific research has always made it abundantly clear that regular exercise is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle.  The medical benefits are numerous: exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, helps lower cholesterol levels, and helps prevent osteoporosis.  Recently, however, greater emphasis has been given to the beneficial role that regular exercise plays in mental and emotional welfare.


A lot of attention is currently being given to how exercise can help promote this welfare in adolescent girls because this group is particularly emotionally vulnerable and at-risk for problems such as low self-esteem and poor body image. In a compilation of the research supporting the importance of regular physical activity among women and girls, the Women’s Sports Foundation notes that active adolescent girls experience above-average levels of self-esteem and are less at risk for depression, body dissatisfaction, and eating disorders.  Overall, encouraging women and girls to exercise is one of the most effective ways to promote their self-confidence and general emotional welfare.  I recently read an article in my town’s newspaper about a local program called “Girls on the Run” that puts this theory in action.  The program’s aim is to help young girls build self-esteem by teaching them about healthy habits and helping them train to run a 5K race over the course of ten weeks.  The program’s culminating event, the 5K race itself, gave girls the opportunity to celebrate their achievements in a fun and healthy way.


Programs like these will hopefully continue to fuel the growth in the number of women exercising because the physical and emotional benefits of regular exercise for women are simply impossible to ignore.



讨论:什么因素阻碍妇女有规律地锻炼?(Discussion Question: What factors might keep women from exercising regularly?)



Sources:
Dunham, Will. "CDC report shows upswing in exercise by adults." Environmental News Network 1 Nov.
2007: n. pag. ENN. Web. 27 May 2011. <http://www.enn.com>.

Theismann, Jeanne. "Girl Power!" The McLean Connection 18 May 2011: n. pag. Print.

Women's Health: Health, Fitness, Weight Loss, Health Recipes & Beauty. Women's Health Magazine, n.d. Web. 27 May 2011. <http://www.womenshealthmag.com>.

Women's Sports Foundation. Women's Sports Foundation, n.d. Web. 27 May 2011.
<http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/>.


Image:
By Mike Baird from Morro Bay,
USA (two-girls-exercising-cayucos-beach2) [CC-BY-2.0
(www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons



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