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:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... Mediaplanet today ... for active, healthy lifestyles and highlighting the importance of proactive eye and ear ... and shares the latest innovations in hearing aid technology. , In this ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... August 18, 2017 , ... Radabaugh & ... assistance to communities in North-Central West Virginia, is embarking on a cooperative charity ... in the area. , The Chestnut Mountain Ranch (CMR) is a Christ-centered boarding ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... Humble, TX (PRWEB) , ... August 18, 2017 ... ... insurance management and financial planning firm that serves residential and commercial clients in ... a charity drive to raise community support for the fight against cancer. , ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh in Abilene, Texas, has released ... pertaining to the mother of the Savior whom the world calls “Mother Mary”. Yisrayl says ... the role of this historical woman. , “The world bows, kisses the feet of, ...
(Date:8/18/2017)... ... , ... “Our Mountains to Climb: A Journey of Love and Faith Through ... through the faith they shared to overcome struggles in life. “Our Mountains to Climb: ... Barbara J. Corcoran, a retired teacher and happily married since 1999; the author’s personal ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/2/2017)... CaryRx, a next-generation full-service pharmacy, has announced the ... in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. ... delivery of medications through the convenience of its patient-friendly mobile ... within one hour to any location in D.C. ... invaluable service to Washington D.C. ," says ...
(Date:7/28/2017)... Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), today announced financial results ... and updated its financial outlook for fiscal 2017. ... third quarter, Hill-Rom reported earnings of $0.09 per diluted ... prior-year period. These results reflect after-tax special items, including ... to the non-cash write-down of assets associated with the ...
(Date:7/26/2017)... Aesthetics, a leading medical aesthetic clinic in Singapore ... skin conditions from the inside. The natural process of ... skin becomes more transparent due to the thinning of the epidermis. Over ... the sun contributes to aging skin, causing age spots and other ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: