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Courtney Babilya | Women's Fitness Nurse

πŸ‹πŸ»β€β™€οΈ News + Research Roundup: Women's Fitness

Published 3 months agoΒ β€’Β 3 min read

Ladies, it's been an interesting few months in the world of fitness + women's health (my two ❀️'s), so I combed through the research to bring you the important stuff. I want to get straight to it, so let's cut the fluff and dive in!

1️⃣ Women need half as much exercise as men to get the same longevity benefit.

YES, you read that correctly. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology published these findings last month. Ji, Gulati, et al used a prospective model on 412,413 American adults to see the relationship between sex, exercise, and cardiovascular mortality.

The researchers noted that 300 minutes of aerobic exercise per week was associated with an 18% reduction in all-cause mortality (AKA your risk of dying from anything) in men. But for women, it only took 140 minutes per week to reach that same benefit. And when women DID exercise 300 minutes per week, that risk reduction climbed to 24%. Based on these findings, one could infer that a) women need half as much exercise to get the same longevity benefit as men OR that b) exercise is more beneficial for woman than men given the same amount of exercise performed. Both are pretty cool.

This is probably due to overall body mass, meaning our exercise-minutes per pound go longer. That's just one theory, and there's still much to learn.

But here's the other cool part: they recreated their model on strength training as well, and found that one session per week for women was equivalent to THREE sessions per week for men.

They also found that the benefits for both men and women tapped out at around 300 minutes per week, meaning anything over 5 hours/week isn't doing anything extra for your longevity.

This is massive. This research could truly change the narrative when it comes to how hard we push women to try and "keep up with the boys." Sorry lads, we don't have to keep up - we already finished. πŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

​After I posted this study on Insta, there were so many comments from women who were collectively sighing a breath of relief. It's NOT all-or-nothing when it comes to movement. EVERY minute counts!

2️⃣ The FA mandates training on female health, the first national governing body to do so

The Football Association out of England is taking measures to protect their female athletes by teaming with The Well HQ. As part of their State of Play report, clubs will designate a female athlete health lead to receive training, courses, and best practices. The topics will span the menstrual cycle, pelvic floor health, pre and post-natal health, injury risk, nutrition, and more.

Holy moly. While LONG overdue, the FA is pioneering a change that will hopefully become the standard across the pond, as well.

3️⃣ Women will make up 50% of Olympians for the first time ever...and French breastfeeding athletes will have "special allowances"

How cool is this? In Paris 2024, the male:female athlete ratio will be 50:50 - for the first time in history.

When women competed in the Olympics for the first time (coincidentally also in Paris), they made up just 2.2% of the playing field.

According to the IOC, this year's Olympics will have 152 women's events, 157 men's events, and 20 mixed-gender events.

And speaking of female athletes, the French Olympic committee is granting breastfeeding competitors their own hotel rooms. Usually, children are not allowed in the Olympic village, but thanks to advocacy from athletes like Clarisse Agbegneno, the French are making some changes. Again, this feels like a case of "this is JUST now happening in 2024?" but let's continue to celebrate progress!

5️⃣ Birth control pills impair muscle recovery

Oof. Birth control is always a controversial thing to talk about, but with so many women still on the pill, it NEEDS the research. We've seen studies that find higher oxidative stress in athletes on the pill, higher inflammation in athletes on the pill, decreased muscle gains, and decreased strength relative to growth, but a new study shows that the birth control pill can be hindering muscle recovery, too.

The researchers state that the overall effect was "marginal," but specifically noted a greater loss of post-workout isokenetic strength in women on birth control vs women not on birth control.

This probably doesn't mean much unless you're a higher level competitive athlete, but it's progress towards understanding how and why birth control pills are changing women's physiology.

​

What do you think? I'd love to hear back from you if you have any thoughts to share! As always, kbm takes all research into account (the lived experience kind, too) to make incredible programs for women that feel great at all times of the month.

xoxo,

Courtney

CEO, Keeping Balance Method

Embrace your strength.

P.S. I am so excited to bring you a brand new volume of my Unstoppable strength program on Monday! Keep your eyes peeled! πŸ‘€

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Courtney Babilya | Women's Fitness Nurse

Creator of Keeping Balance Method, fitness app for women πŸ“±

As a former ER nurse, I know how important it is to stick with the stuff that WORKS. I help women become stronger through sustainable + effective strategies that feel like coming home. I've made menstrual cycle-informed fitness the new natural way for women to train, helping thousands embrace their strength through my app. Welcome! Love, your friendly neighborhood fitness nurse.

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