Female Athletes - Sports-Nerd
Transcript Female Athletes - Sports-Nerd
• Female athletes have twice the risk of developing eating disorders,
which may result from:
– Exposure to peer influence, magazines, television and other forms of
media that make athletes susceptible to the pressures of weight loss.
– Exposure to social expectations to be thin within the athletic subculture
e.g. the desire for an ‘athletic shape’. Sports like ballet and gymnastics
– The need to conform to an ideal sporting image that overvalues ideal
body shape, size, weight and low body fat
• What is it??
Bulimia is an eating disorder characterised by binge eating, followed by
vomiting, the use of laxatives and/or excessive exercise to purge the body
• How it effects an athlete?
Deprives the body of nutrient, leads to excessive weight loss and damages
the digestive tract
• Anorexia nervosa
• What is it?
• Is an eating disorder characterised by self starvation and is
potentially life threatening. Mainly effects adolescent females.
• How it effects an athlete?
• They may exercise excessively to lose weight
• Chronic anorexics may have insufficient energy to exercise
Skinny pressure in sports
Eating disorders in athletes
• Iron is important for the body and for good health.
• The amount of iron needed depends on the person’s age, gender
and activity level.
• Females need twice as much as males.
• Mainly because of blood loss during menstruation as iron is major
part of blood.
• A lack of iron is common in females.
• Iron is needed in the blood to carry oxygen and carbon dioxide.
• Symptoms of low iron levels include lethargy, weakness and fatigue
• Iron deficiency can lead to anaemia (low blood count) but even
without anaemia, leads to a reduced removal of lactic acid from
muscle which causes fatigue
• Research activity
• The recommended daily intake (RDI) of iron for adult females (19-50
• 18 milligrams
• The RDI for adult males is 8 milligrams
• Athletes should be encouraged to consume iron rich foods.
• What are some good sources of iron??
– Meat, seafood and poultry (good sources of haem iron which is best for iron
Legumes and nuts
Whole grains and cereals
Dark green leafy vegetables
Bone density refers to the thickness and strength of bones.
Calcium deficiency is associated with osteoporosis and bone fractures in
Calcium is necessary for bone strength and is also required in the blood to
allow muscles and nerves to function properly
Causes of calcium deficiency include hormonal changes associated with
menopause, decreased exercise and inadequate calcium in diet.
RDI for calcium in both males and females is 1000 milligrams which equals
at least two serves of calcium rich food day
Good sources for calcium are:
– Cheese, Yoghurt
– Green leafy fruit and vegetables
– Fish with bones (such as sardines)
Oestrogen is also effective in maintaining bone density, in fact, more
effective then increased calcium in diet
Mild to moderate exercise is safe and beneficial for pregnant women.
Many elite athletes have trained and performed at various stages
throughout and after pregnancy with no problems. Some have even
performed better after giving birth.
Exercise is considered dangerous in high risk pregnancies e.g. women who
have experienced a miscarriage, a multiple pregnancy, premature labour or
high blood pressure
• Identify at what stages during pregnancy women can
exercise or play sport.
• Outline what types of exercise or sport would be suitable
for pregnant women
• What are the benefits of exercising throughout
• Design or find a set of training guidelines for pregnant
• Watch youtube video on pregnant exercises
– www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aT36DLfzTk – Central2Bumps
– Why are these appropriate?
– How are they beneficial?
Basic training Guidelines for
Don’t start a new exercise program during pregnancy
Avoid vigourous exercise
Decrease exercise intensity as pregnancy progresses. It is widely
recommended to maintain heart rate levels at no more than 140 beats per
minute (bpm), but some athletes may be able to sustain 150-160 as long as
no ill-effects are left.
Avoid contact and collision sports and scuba diving, parachuting, waterskiing and gymnastics
Avoid overheating and heat stress (such as may be experienced in saunas
and poorly ventilated areas and during hot or humid weather).
Thoroughly warm up and cool down – exercise gradually
Maintain adequate hydration
Advise the doctor of the intention to exercise
Be aware of the signs to stop exercising (for example, pain, bleeding,
nausea or headaches).
• Inquiry ‘Iron Deficiency and Bone Density’
pg: 427 Outcomes 2