Navigation Links
Through women's eyes: Conflicting fitness messages underscore women's fit body stereotypes
Date:3/28/2011

(Edmonton) From boot camp to step aerobics, yoga to martial arts, women have been pummelled by the fitness industry and messages in the media to exercise in pursuit of the pervasive fit, feminine ideal: to look young, thin and toned.

A new book, Women and Exercise: The Body, Health and Consumerism edited by Pirkko Markula, a socio-cultural scholar at the University of Alberta, sheds light on the complex relationships between women and exercise. It's a timely publication considering Statistics Canada's alarming findings from its recently published Canadian Health Measures Survey, showing that women exercise less than men, and only 14 per cent of Canadians accumulate the minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise.

Nevertheless, promoting exercise only as a means to weight loss might not always be healthy, says Markula. "Women are told that they should exercise to look good, feel good and to be healthy," she says, although the women interviewed in the book talked about developing a "fat phobia," where the desire to be thin outweighs all other benefits of exercise.

Markula, a certified Pilates instructor, and whose chapter looks at women's experiences of a Pilates class, says the trend toward "mindfulness" in exercise where activities engage both the mind and the body, such as Pilates and yoga, has taken strong root. While these activities can offer women a holistic, deeply inward-looking activity where they are engaged and "present" in every movement of the body, they can also easily become used as a means for "looking good and feeling good."

The fitness industry is also seen in the book's research as one of the key components of contributing to women's negative view of exercise and body image. "Within this industry fat is feared, obesity condemned," says Markula. "In such an environment, many women feel inadequate and flawed instead of empowered with body confidence. Exercise, when promoted as a means for achieving healthy looks, can promote ill health instead of health."

But, she says, despite this negative potential, not all fitness industry practices are bad. As an instructor, Markula still believes that exercise can be a very good thing and in her practice she emphasizes other exercise goals instead of the "healthy looking body."

It is important, says Markula, "that exercising women become more aware of the potentially harmful exercise practices. I hope that, as a result, women can become more informed fitness consumers who can expect a greater variety of fitness services to serve diverse needs of diverse groups of women. The fitness industry can, then, evolve into a better informed and healthier practice that can be fun, rewarding and enjoyable."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jane Hurly
jane.hurly@ualberta.ca
780-492-6821
University of Alberta - Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Advancing delirium care through research
2. Huntingtons disease breakthrough equals hope for patients
3. Research uncovers a secret society connecting through the Internet
4. Many Breakthrough Drugs Come From Publicly Funded Research: Study
5. Girls who are bullied are at risk for substance use through depression
6. Better learning through handwriting
7. Breakthrough for more efficient drug development
8. Wiley-Blackwell announces 102 additional products available through Research4Life
9. Mount Sinai researchers make major breakthrough in melanoma research
10. Autism breakthrough: Researchers identify possible treatment for impaired sociability
11. Positive Attitude, Planning May Help Women Through Menopause
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... York (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... Looking ... answer may be at the tips of your toes. Foot massage, whether administered by ... as pure comfort and relaxation. The American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... , ... US Sports Camps , official operators of Nike Yoga Camps, ... yoga training. ChildLight Yoga Studio is centrally situated in the picturesque New England city ... Studio founder Lisa Flynn expresses her excitement, “We are thrilled to be partnering with ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Give To Cure today announced that ... donate to Give To Cure’s campaign that is crowdfunding clinical trials to help find ... share payments through a smart device. In 2015 alone, Venmo processed $7.5 billion in ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... Dr. Justin Scott and Dr. Lydia Muccioli of ... Day to individuals in need. The event is scheduled to take place on February ... is to provide dental care to community members in need. Each patient will be ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... , ... In sleep, when the defenses of the day are at rest, ... with eating disorders is significant self-criticism, and consequently these patients experience this disease with ... maladaptive means for coping with this unease, but also leads to a reservoir of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016 ... addition of the "Global Musculoskeletal Partnering ... company profile to their offering. ... addition of the "Global Musculoskeletal Partnering ... company profile to their offering. ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... 5, 2016 Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. ... "Company"), which develops, markets and sells medical devices ... China and international markets, today announced ... to concentrate the Company,s resources to develop its ... and to focus more on its major businesses. ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Site Profile: --> ... The Speech Recognition People, announced their latest primary healthcare case study ... reduce turnaround times and to save the practice money. ... 2013 Challenge: --> ,- Wirral CCG ,- ... Six doctors ,- Wirral CCG ,- VoicePower client since 2013 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: