Generally speaking, “exercise” and being fit has always been more associated with men. With their larger more powerful builds, they were the hunters, the laborers and were the warriors that “trained” for competitions and battle. Women were the caregivers, having smaller physiques they were thought of as weaker, more fragile and delicate and not as suited for certain tasks.
No women took part in the first modern Olympics Games held in Athens in 1896. The founder of the International Olympic Committee Pierre de Coubertin felt that the inclusion of women would be “impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic, and incorrect.”
Before the 1900’s women athletics consisted of little more than the physical exertion of her day to day tasks. As athletes, it was the Olympics Games in Paris in 1900 when women competed for the first time. There were a total of 997 athletes and of that 22 women participated in five sports: tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrianism and golf.
Stigmas continued well into the 60’s where it was rumored that strenuous exercise may be harmful to a woman’s body, causing possible infertility and therefore may be less likely to marry. Some thought that they may become too masculine even turn into lesbians for participating in such vigorous activities. Women were to be slim but not fit. It was well into the late 80s and 90s before even aerobics or going to the gym began to gain popularity. Working out at home on TV programs or videos was all the rage and icons like Jane Fonda and Olivia Newton John began to change mentality towards women sweating and building some muscle.
Fast forward almost 100 years, since 1991 any new sport wanting to join the Olympic program must have women’s competitions. With women’s boxing added to the Olympic program in London 2012, it was the first time women competed in all the sports on the program.
As women’s presence in sports has grown tremendously in the last century. we want to recognize all the amazingly tough, unwavering women out there. The United States has recognized March as National Women’s History Month since 1987.
Some may say that it takes women longer to “get over things” well when it comes to sport recovery there is a scientific reason. It has been shown that women take longer to recover from athletic training than men. One study examined gender differences in strength loss, muscle thickness (MT), and DOMS between young men and women. The data showed that after resistance exercise, women and men experience similar immediate strength loss, but they have dissimilar strength recovery across 4 days of recovery time. Seems women should ensure they are allowing their body to recoup after activities and possible ways to expedite it.
Whether you are a woman just starting to become active or train regularly you can compliment your routine with some practical and affordable solutions. Science shows that you can dramatically improve your recovery time with these easy hacks :
Massage - The effects of massage on delayed onset muscle soreness and physical performance in female collegiate athletes This study supports the use of massage in women collegiate athletes for decreasing soreness and improving vertical jump. AS much as we’d love to see a massage therapist once a week, tools like massage guns and compression have become popular items for expediting recovery at home or on the go.
Whole Body Vibration - Here is a study from 2012 called potential beneficial effects of whole-body vibration for muscle recovery after exercise. Whole-body vibration before and after exercise showed potential for reducing muscle soreness and considered as an adjunct to traditional therapies (i.e., massage, cryotherapy) to accelerate muscle recovery. A vibration plate can be used for the warmup, workout and the recovery if you are looking at a way to save time and effort. Great for the whole family it’s low impact and almost anyone can use everywhere mobility or stamina is poor.
Recovery is an important aspect in optimal performance and in our everyday lives. Make the time for you whether you are competing in athletics or just the sport of life, we want you to live your best life.