The “Female Triad” – Have you heard of it?

Female athletes beware… 

 

It is possible you have experienced this as a female athlete or maybe your child is experiencing this OR it could be that you know someone who is experiencing this. Most females have experienced this depending on the sports they played and how serious they took their athletics – many coaches and parents might not see anything wrong with it because it comes with being an athlete having the mindset of being the best, but what happens when being the best is causing health issues and making it harder on you in the long term and short term. 

 

What is the female Triad?

 
  • A syndrome in which eating disorders, amenorrhoea, and decreased bone mineral density are present. Primarily caused by an energy deficiency. 

Now you would assume, how is this considered normal? well it isn’t. Sadly, many people don’t stop to question these things until it is too late or don’t see the signs right away because they don’t pay close enough attention, or possibly because their teenager is avoiding the topic and allowing the guardian to believe all is well when it is NOT. As athletes, you know we have to make sacrifices and some can be harmful and some can be good, but we make these sacrifices because we want to be the best at whatever we do and we don’t want to make the coach or our teammates upset – we have this mindset of win, win, win and any loss is a bad loss. This was my same mindset as well, any loss was a loss I was mad about and the tantrums I would throw and the cussing and the anger and the blaming the players and the constant striving for perfection is all that mattered to me growing up playing sports. It can be tough being an athlete. 

 

We all have our downfalls but this is serious and I want to bring it to your attention in case any of you might be going through it now or know someone who is, so that maybe you can identify it and be more aware and helpful.. if anything, I hope this post teaches you something new.

 

Who is effected?

  • Typically anyone can be effected, but it primarily effects female athletes who participate in sports that emphasize leanness, such as:gymnastics, ballet, diving, figure skating, aerobics, running. Some other classes that include males experiencing this might be: wrestling, rowing, and martial arts. 

Symptoms:

  1. weight loss
  2. absent or irregular periods
  3. fatigue
  4. stress fractures
  5. binge eating 
  6. restrictive dieting
  7. induced vomiting
  8. excessive exercise

Prevention practices:

  1. AVOID emphasis on achieving unrealistically low body weight
  2. avoid out of competition weigh ins
  3. athletes, coaches and parents need to be aware of any warning signs 
  4. rules encouraging excessive weight loss should be discouraged and eliminated. 

Treatment:

  1. The athlete will deny, but medical help is mandatory because it can become serious and eventually cause long term issues if not death.
  2. they should have proper support from coaches, family, friends, teammates
  3. speak with a nutritionist
  4. many times treatment requires some kind of intervention from different specialist and family, friends, etc

Now with this being said, nothing will change if we don’t become the change. We might not be able to save every athlete or change every coach or parent’s mind but we can be aware with both eyes open and speak on this topic when necessary to avoid it happening to yourself, your child or a friend possibly. I am HUGE on body positiveness and preventing females from going down some of the paths I went down knowingly and unknowingly and hopefully helping those who may have questions or concerns dealing with this topic or any of this nature. I am not a medical doctor but I can offer an ear, advice, tips, conversation, etc that might be helpful to an individual. I don’t want men thinking this can’t happen to them, because I know both sexes deal with issues but this specific issue is more prone to female athletes. All I ask is that all of you share this and talk about it with friends and family and social media, make it an issue so that others make it their problem to change how we coach, change our rules that govern these ways of thinking and to hopefully make some type of difference. 

 

Thank you for reading, please feel free to contact me personally, to leave comments, share experiences, follow my blog and social media, and to reblog if you wish as well. 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xo

Advertisements

Period Cramps & Exercise

So… Some of you are perhaps thinking, is she really about to talk about periods… and then equate it with exercise? Will this really about periods, or is she kidding? OMG PERIODS!! NO..GROSS.. I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR OR LEARN ABOUT FEMALE PERIODS. Let me break the ice by saying, this is less about periods and more about how to exercise/what exercises one should do on their periods when experiencing cramps. Now my answers are not 100% because we all experience different periods, some are longer, some are shorter, some have no cramping, some have a lot of cramping, some have heavy flow and some have light flow, some have angry bitch face and some have happy smiles, some have take 10 pills make it go away, some have 2 Ibuprofens and we are good, some have birth control, others do not, some have 1 pad, some have 2- or more, some have tampons that need replaced in minutes, some have tampons that need replaced in hours, some say sex helps, others do not, some have just recently hit puberty and some have hit menopause, some are young, some are older, some are vomit, some do not, some take showers during this time and some do not! lol.. okay but seriously, everyone gets the point, our periods are all different. This is why I am going to speak from my own experience & then also give some advice that others have shared with me. 

 

Periods. Periods. Periods. Periods. Periods. Periods. Periods. Say it all together now. PERIODS! I did this exercise in hopes that as adults we can get past the fact we will be discussing the female vagina excreting blood and ways to stay fit while doing so. If this seems like something you cannot handle, feel free to skip to my blog post where it shows me doing the side-lying leg raise where periods will not be present. Men, this information could be helpful for your spouse, girlfriend, bestfriend, mom, so please don’t dismiss it. 

 

Class is now in session…For starters, I have issues. Not the type of issues that send me to the mental ward, but the kind that physically tears me down and makes me hate my life once a month. I have for one have endometriosis, secondly have I have cyst in my ovaries (that are not cancerous but Dr’s won’t remove because of my age), I have another dysfunction dysmenorrhea. I will explain these terms so you are that much smarter:

 
  • Endometriosis: A disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. 
  • Dysmenorrhea: Painful cramps that may occur immediately before or during the menstrual cycle.

I have had both of these issues since the very first day of having a period, but wasn’t diagnosed until my late teens, early adult hood. I have been on medicines since then. I have had to go through so many medications that naming them all would take some time and I don’t have that. I will make mention that birth control pills do not help me, I gained weight and stopped taking them. I have had to up my doses in meds because I get immune to them fairly quickly. I currently am taking a different medicine and one pill is 800mg but I believe it is no longer strong enough for me, so I will either take more than one pill . or have my Dr. up my dose or try me on something different. I will soon need to make an appointment with my GYNO Dr, to see if anything else is up with my body. I have thought about surgery since I do not want kids, but that is out of the question because of my age. Anywho long story short I am okay and healthy! thanks for the concern, but when my monster comes around each month.. well.. people will know.. because well… my moods. In my particular situation, I don’t find that exercise is comfortable on my first day of my period (because that is when all HELL breaks lose for me) – so instead, I will workout the days leading after that, thankfully mine only last 4 days, so it flies by fairly fast. For others, exercise is not an option & that is fine. We will drop you off at this stop. 

 

Next stop… Exercise is bound to be odd on your period (for those that do exercise when on their period), you may feel gross, uncomfortable and will most likely not want to participate in any high intensity exercises. This is how I feel.

 

What do we do…  

  1. Walk. Walking gets you moving without injury or danger, light walking, nothing too fast
  2. Runners have said it helps to do light jogs, maybe for you this is true, not for me
  3. Yoga. Choose a Yoga class that doesn’t require anything that would cause you to be uncomfortable while on your period
  4. Planks- planks are easy to do while on your period.
  5. Swimming- it can be relaxing because of the water hitting our tummies just right

Anything more than these would be individual to each person. Maybe nothing on this list works for you, then you will need to find your own relief another way. It is appropriate to lay down on your period and get sleep, drink water and take it easy but because I can’t stand bloating, gaining weight and feeling somewhat lazy, I like to do exercises my 2nd to 4th day of being on my period. I hope all of you women will find this list to be beneficial, also feel free to share exercises you do while on your period! 

 

Your fitness blogger,

Shay-lon xxxx

Is Water Aerobics better than land based exercises?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veJN-XyYoiM

So I will admit, this is probably bad timing since summer is almost over, but where I live there are gyms that offer indoor pools all year round for those who want to swim for their workout or enjoy the hot tub. I cannot imagine being one of those people, because once summer goes away, I don’t want to even imagine myself in a swimming pool (I can handle being in a hot tub) BRRRRR! With the weather cooling down, I don’t expect many people using this type of workout, but someone can always use it for next year or use it for their indoor pool activities.  I have never participated in any form of water aerobics classes, and so I decided I would look into to, since most people know that swimming is a great total body exercise.  Recently I had someone ask me if I thought water aerobics was a better form of cardio than taking a run or cycling, and to be honest, I didn’t really know off the bat, but told them I would look into it and I am happy I did because I had the chance to learn something new in my field and share with all of you.

 

For starters, swimming is a great at increasing cardiovascular health, joint health and builds upper and lower body strength (which I knew this much already).  Secondly it never crossed my mind but swimming is a great exercise for those easing their way into exercising and need something that is low impact.  Duh, right?! I know. I guess my fitness mentality didn’t kick in right away, don’t blame me, it has been a long week. To be continued… 

 

Benefits:

 
  • Low impact exercise
  • Total body exercise
  • Good cardiovascular exercise
  • builds strength in both the upper and lower body
  • “Calorie Burner”
  • Great for seniors & older adults
  • Helps rehabilitate healing muscles and joints
  • Great for those who live in a hot environment
  • reduced chance of injury

So as you can see water aerobics has many great benefits. Bear in mind that you still need land based exercises in order to get the benefits from a weight bearing exercise to maintain a healthy bone density. All in all, based on this information alone, I think swimming can offer some of the same benefits as those who run or cycle but I would definitely recommend it over running for someone who needs a low impact activity in the beginning, but wouldn’t use it as a supplement to weight bearing exercises. Depending on the clients goals and their fitness level, water aerobics could make for a great strength and cardio exercise.

 

One thing I will mention is so many new water aerobic videos are being posted all over the internet and NOT all of them make sense or have a reasoning behind the movements, I feel as though if you are interested in participating in a water aerobics class, that you speak with someone who is certified in this or a coach who knows what they are talking about. I know we all know not to believe everything we see or hear on the internet but because a lot of these new and improved water aerobics are being advertised, people don’t stop and actually think about the relevance of the exercise and will try anything just because it looks “cool”, not everything that looks cool has a purpose. Thanks for reading, feel free to share, like, comment and follow!

 

Have you done water aerobics? Share with us your experience.

 

Your fitness blogger,

Shay-lon xoxo

Shay-lon is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to [insert the applicable site name Amazon.com