I am a regular gym-goer, and I think it is about time that someone addressed this topic: women’s health. I am a woman, and I have noticed that other women (including myself) are subjected to ridiculous health standards on a regular basis. Between dieting and our workout routine, there are far too many misconceptions out there.
When it comes to dieting…
When people think of women and food, they often think of salad. This is something that has been long portrayed in the media and it needs to stop. Women need a healthy amount of carbs, fats, and other nutrients just like men do. A salad doesn’t always fit the bill.
This also goes hand in hand with the notion that women are always dieting. For whatever reason, there is an ongoing, never ending belief that women should always be watching their weight. Yes, some women do watch their weight, but that doesn’t mean we all are. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve opted for something healthy and have been asked if I’m on a diet.
This dieting misconception goes hand in hand with the misconception that women shouldn’t be eating a lot. While woman’s food intake can vary drastically from a man’s intake, and overeating is not healthy for you, a girl can eat. Seriously. This is not only a stupid idea, but it’s also dangerous. The idea that a girl shouldn’t be eating could lead to some serious body image or health related issues.
When it comes to working out…
These ideas about female fitness can come in a few different forms.
Primarily it’s about how we workout and what we workout. For whatever reason, women have been pegged the queens of cardio. It seems like we’re constantly expected to be on the treadmill or on the stationary bike, texting or reading a magazine. Women are never depicted to be at the squat rack or bench press – which is by all means ridiculous.
Women can body build too, just like men. No, the girl you see holding dumbbells does not have to be an athlete or training for a competition. They don’t have to be lifting for a specific reason. This is because weight lifting has tons of great benefits, including increasing your strength, create a better and more efficient metabolism, weight loss, and can give any girl the booty they’ve always wanted.
And bear in mind, just because we lift weights does not mean we will start to look “manly” – yet another ridiculous misconception. Personally, I lift weights 3-4 times a week and I look nothing like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
None of this is to say that cardio isn’t great, but it is not all that women are capable of doing at the gym.
So, when it comes to the gym, fitness, and practicing a healthy lifestyle, how about we all just agree to respect each other’s space and mind our own business?