Acclaimed women’s health and hormone expert Marla Ahlgrimm discusses the many benefits of physical activity for women.
Q: What are the advantages of staying active?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Physical activity has a host of benefits for girls and women of all ages. Staying active increases muscle strength and flexibility as well as helps you maintain your weight and energy levels. Physical activity further helps your body develop and maintain strong bones and protects against diabetes, cardiovascular disease, fatigue, and insomnia.
Q: Are there certain types of exercises that are best for women?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Women should strive for a combination of aerobic and strength training activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most healthy adults should strive for around two hours of moderate physical activity each week, including two to three days of muscle strength training exercises.
Q: Should I talk to my doctor before beginning a new physical fitness program?
Marla Ahlgrimm: No matter your physical condition, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting something new. Your physician may have insight on your chosen exercise routine that could impact how it’s executed. During this conversation, your doctor will address any medical conditions that may inhibit your ability to exercise. Never began a new exercise regimen if you’re pregnant without speaking to your doctor first.
Q: How do I know when I’ve done too much?
Marla Ahlgrimm: As with all good things, moderation is the key where exercise is concerned. This is especially true for women who are not used to intense workouts. If you notice that your muscles are extremely sore or you experience pain in the hours and days following an exercise, that’s a good sign that you should take it easy. Respiratory issues and extreme fatigue as well as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and an irregular heartbeat are a few ways your body expresses that it has had enough.