Is Fitness harder for women?
'Mom, being a woman is so hard!' says my daughter. The question is, if it is harder for us to get results when working out.
Women want to get lean; their goal is to have cellulite free legs and firm arms, whereas guys want to get rid off their belly and build up a V-shaped back. Now is it easier for men to get in shape than it is for woman?
In my opinion it is not. Because even though motivation may be gender specific, in the end it is all about burning fat and building muscle.
Both men and women have fat, of course some of us have more than others. But in general the difference is where it is stored: Women suffer from cellulite because their fat is being accumulated between the muscles and the skin, whereas men tend to have a belly because their fat is stored around the organs in the abdominal area.
Women and men mostly choose different workouts to reach their goals. Whereas ladies choose Yoga or Pilates classes and spend half an hour on the cross trainer, gents pump iron in the free weight section and maybe run for 10 minutes afterwards. There is two reasons for this phenomenon: Girls are scared to get bulky and they don’t like to lift heavy. They don’t want to become strong like men, they just want to get toned. They also by nature tend to be able to resist fatigue longer during their workout. Men on the other hand have a higher glycolytic capacity than women which means that they perform better doing short and intense bursts of effort.
Having said all that, I believe that it is not easier or harder for women to work out. It really depends on your goal: If you train for a triathlon it is going to take more efforts than if you just want to get in shape to feel good. It is also equally hard for a woman and for a man to eat clean and resist these chocolates and pastries offered by beloved ones.
But there is a but! There are a couple of challenges that only women have to overcome indeed.
Challenge 1: I am on my period.
If you don’t feel pain, you can certainly work out. If you are suffering, a light training may actually help with symptoms of bloating, headaches and fatigue. But if you feel strong pain, give yourself a break for 1-2 days until you feel better. Drink herbal tea (try fresh peppermint, lemon, a cinnamon stick and ginger) and read a book instead of hitting the gym.
Challenge 2: I have nothing to wear.
A good pair of shoes, socks, tights a tank-top and sports bra are the essentials for a good workout. Get yourself some basic tights that you can wear for a couple of seasons and combine with different tops.
Challenge 3: My hair sucks.
Keep in mind that you are working out and not modelling in a fashion show. So just pull your hair together in a ponytail and tame your bangs. Personally I love those thin headbands that keep all the hair out of my face.
Challenge 4: I cannot go out.
It’s dark at night or you are scared of stray dogs. Find someone to walk with you, it’s safer and more fun! If you cannot, jump the rope or do my cardio videos in your living-room.