Women’s Health and Fitness Guide provides a novel approach to addressing the health and fitness needs of women. The authors developed a research-based program that describes how and why gender and stage of life are important factors to consider when designing an exercise program. Whether the professional is addressing the adolescent, pregnant, menopausal, or senior woman, this book provides answers to program design questions. The emphasis on functional fitness and the inclusion of an up-to-date review of cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility research make this text both comprehensive and timely.
Women’s Health and Fitness Guide is a practical text organized in a straightforward manner, progressing from research to practice. The authors begin by focusing on the unique anatomic, physiologic, and psychosocial characteristics of women. They explore gender-specific research regarding exercise and disease prevention and detail the specific health risks that women face, translating them into distinct approaches to preventing and managing disease. The authors then present a life-stage approach to physical activity and fitness, ranging from adolescence and pregnancy to menopause and the senior years, with a focus on the physical, mental, emotional, and social challenges women are likely to face during each transitional period. Short- and long-term goals are identified for each life stage that can be used as starting points for developing and promoting effective fitness programs.
Various exercise prescriptions for women—including aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility—are then presented. Though these components are common, the authors’ approach to them is not. They provide a sound rationale and advice for rethinking traditional exercise in favor of functional and integrated exercises that will help women perform the tasks and activities of daily life. The authors take readers step by step through the process of designing an individualized training program, leading to a safe, effective, and enjoyable program that meets each woman’s specific needs. Prevention of common injuries is also discussed, with special attention to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries.
The book is concise, relevant, and filled with current data on women’s health and fitness research, laying the foundation for the research-based recommendations it provides. Enhanced with sidebars that provide readers with summaries of key findings and recommendations that are discussed in more detail in the text, the text is also complemented by numerous photos, figures, and tables to reinforce the authors’ recommendations. It also has a detailed glossary to aid readers, and it provides training tools and handouts to be used by health and fitness professionals in their work with female clients.
Women’s Health and Fitness Guide will help health and fitness professionals sort through the hearsay, testimonials, and observations they are bombarded with each day and provide clear, appropriate recommendations on fitness and activity to women in all stages of life.
About the Author
Michele Anne Kettles, MD, MSPH, is Director of Education at the world-renowned Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas. She is a board-certified specialist in preventive medicine and practices clinical medicine full time with a focus on exercise counseling for better health and fitness. She has a particular interest in prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Dr. Kettles is a member of the American College of Preventive Medicine and served in the U.S. Navy as a physician, where her mission was to maintain the health and fitness of the troops. She enjoys running, swimming, strength training, reading, and practicing yoga in her leisure time.
Colette L. Cole, MS, is an award-winning personal trainer and fitness coordinator with 18 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. She designs fitness programs and trains women with a variety of needs. Her clients include elite athletes, women recovering from serious injuries or surgeries, and those managing conditions such as breast cancer or osteoporosis, as well as women who see fitness as a means to improve appearance. Since 1994, she has worked at the Cooper Fitness Center in Dallas, Texas, where she is currently developing a women’s lifestyle program. She is a frequent lecturer on various health and fitness topics. Away from work, she enjoys exercise, the mountains, and her Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Brenda Shepherd Wright, PhD, is a health promotion consultant with more than 25 years of experience in the field, including her work as director of the Division of Behavioral Science and Health Promotion at Cooper Institute. She has consulted with individuals and groups and has served as a developer and evaluator of school-based programs to increase physical activity among elementary and middle school students. She has also developed wellness programs for assisted living communities as well as numerous certification training programs and manuals for health professionals. She enjoys hiking in the mountains and jungles of Costa Rica, where she currently lives, and yachting.
Table of Contents
Part I. How Women Are Unique
Chapter 1. Sex Differences in Anatomy, Physiology, Psychosociology, and Mortality
Female Morbidity and Mortality
Chapter 2. Exercise and Disease Prevention
Nurses’ Health Studies
Exercise and Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke
Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes
Exercise and Cancer Prevention: Theory
Exercise and Cancer Prevention: Studies
Exercise and Dementia
Exercise and Osteoporosis
Exercise and Obesity
Chapter 3. Exercise and Disease Management
Women with Physical Challenges
Risks of Aerobic Exercise
Part II. A Life-Stage Approach to Physical Activity and Fitness
Chapter 4. Exercise During Adolescence
Goals of Fitness Programs During Adolescence
The Major Life Transition of Adolescence
Benefits and Barriers to Physical Activity During Adolescence
Promoting Participation in Regular Physical Activity
Health Issues for Adolescent Girls and Young Women
Chapter 5. Exercise During and After and Pregnancy
Goals of Fitness Programs During and After Pregnancy
The Major Life Transition of Pregnancy
Benefits and Barriers to Physical Activity During and After Pregnancy
Promoting Participation in Prenatal Exercise Programs
Nutrition Guidelines for Active Women During Pregnancy
Special Conditions and Circumstances
Nutrition and Weight Loss After Pregnancy
Chapter 6. Exercise During and After Menopause
Goals of Fitness Programs for Women During and After Menopause
The Major Life Transition of Menopause
Benefits and Barriers of Physical Activity in Menopausal Women
Promoting Participation in Regular Physical Activity
Exercise to Forestall Frailty
Functional Fitness in Older Women
Part III. Exercise Prescription for Women,
Chapter 7. Aerobic Exercise for Women
Principles of Aerobic Exercise
Quantifying Activity and Fitness Levels
Traditional Aerobic Exercise Choices
Chapter 8. Strength Training for Women
Types of Strength Training Body Mechanics and Spinal Alignment
General Strength Training Principles
Balance and Neuromuscular Stability Training
Strength Training Choices
Chapter 9. Flexibility for Women
What Is Flexibility?
Types of Flexibility Training
Recent Research on Flexibility
Incorporating Stretching Into an Exercise Program
Flexibility Training and Kinetic Chain Dysfunction
Flexibility Classes for the Body and Mind
Part IV. Designing Individualized Training Programs
Chapter 10. Individualized Training Programs
Basic Concepts of Program Design
Advanced Concepts in Program Design
Fibromyalgia Case Study
Chapter 11. Female Injury and Safety Issues
Anterior Cruciate Ligament
Anterior Knee Pain
Iliotibial Band Syndrome
Stress Fractures and Overuse Injuries
Heat, Cold, and Altitude Stress
Appendix A: Tools
Appendix B: Handouts
About the Authors
Words of Praise
“This is a wonderful resource that is truly up to date and comprehensive, presented in a manner that is relevant and thoughtful in addressing the health and fitness concerns of women.”
Marilyn Strawbridge, PhD
Butler University, Indianapolis, IN
A reference and textbook for health and fitness professionals, personal trainers, exercise specialists, coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, physicians, and nurses.