Offering individualised training and health programmes to women is become an ever more popular aspect of the fitness industry. More frequently gyms will have women- and men-only training times, and various supplementary health services such as women's health physio that cater for specific genders. This is not a discriminatory practice, but one that caters for those who feel less comfortable in mixed gender environments, and also for those looking for services that cater specifically for the muscular physiology of women, which differs from men. This simple guide will provide an overview of some of the different practices and how they can benefit women specifically.
Physiotherapy is offered as a way to relieve tension from deep muscular tissue. It is a fantastic supplement to intense training and particularly beneficial to women who are working hard to improve their health to reduce the risk of breast cancer and bladder problems. Whilst physiotherapy itself won't prevent these, it can ensure that women can continue to train effectively by reducing the risk of muscular strain related injuries. Women who are pregnant also often find that they suffer from lower back pain because of the imbalance of weight over their hips. Releasing this tension can improve the body's ability to provide support and stability by creating equal amounts of tension on each side of the body. This is also beneficial for women with small children who frequently find themselves supporting their child on their hip throughout the day.
There are many arguments from prominent health professionals that state that reducing stress is one of the best ways to improve overall health, from minimising the storage of visceral body fat from an overflow of the hormone cortisol, to boosting the immune system. Swedish massage is far more gentle and relaxing than a Thai massage or physiotherapy and is perfect for both men and women, but again especially women in the various stages of pregnancy. By increasing the amount of endorphins flooding the body, the immune system is boosted which can minimise the risk of pregnancy complications.
How Much is Enough
There is no set prescription for physiotherapy or massage, however most professionals will be able to recommend frequent sessions as well as supporting exercises and activities to improve the effectiveness of the physio or massage. This could be anything from simple strengthening exercises that can be done at home, such as single leg squats whilst brushing teeth, to frequent yoga sessions.