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Lecture 18

PSY 349 Lecture 18: Exercise (also includes lecture 19)

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PSY 349
Marci Lobel

Enhancing Women’s Health: The Science of Exercise Overview • Exercise may be the most important health behavior to ensure good health and survival • More important than doing things like quitting smoking, controlling blood pressure, etc. • Prevents and controls a lot of different diseases including mental health problems • Almost 250,000 people die every year because they’re sedentary • A quarter to a third of the population is sedentary • Women are less likely to be physically active than men o Can occur very early (age 6) and widen in adolescence (girls skipping gym class and dropping out of sports because they were worried about their breasts) ▪ 90% of the girls in this study wanted to know more about breasts in general, sports bras) ▪ Recommend protective gear for boys but not for girls ▪ Only 10% said they were wearing the proper bra during exercise Inactivity and Disease Risk All-cause mortality • Most of the relationships between fitness and mortality is determined by the lower risks for CVD • Fit  lower risk of CVD  lower chance of mortality o Lower blood pressure o If they do develop CVD, it tends to occur later and is less severe • Fit  less abdominal fat  lower change of CVD  lower chance of mortality Longevity Cardiovascular disease (CVD) Obesity Cancer • Most research done on men • Fitness is inversely related (protective) • Men who are more active have a lower risk of prostate cancer • Risk of dying from cancer is less if they’re physically active Osteoporosis • Weight training helps prevent • Athletes have greater bone density • Improved strength is associated with having more muscle, bone mass, having better balance • Strength training can have more powerful benefits then other treatments for osteoporosis (medications, food supplements, etc) Scientific Principles for Exercise Training Barriers and constraints • Lack of time • Women are in the work force and are still largely responsible for kids and family • Average 90-120 minutes spent commuting to work; average time spent on exercise was 7 minutes • Even when there is access to gyms at work, there’s a low rate of participation • One of the reasons people drop out of exercise programs is because they don’t get the results they want; lose motivation and discontinue; virtually all the planned activity has limited benefits; limited impact on their fitness, strength and body composition; what’s offered to women is usually time consuming and ineffective Typical programs • Toning • Spot reducing class (abs, butt, hips, thighs • Toning has no scientific basis; was just well advertised because women were afraid of becoming too muscular • Because of hormones, many women (and even men) can’t get too muscle • Women naturally have a higher percentage of body fat • When we gain body fat, we hide
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