Couch Potatoes Run Greater Risk of Injury
WebMD News Archive
"These women were not as fit as they could have been, so we would expect
to see dramatic improvements, especially in cardiovascular endurance and
muscular strength," says Denise Smith, PhD, associate professor and
director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Skidmore College in Saratoga
Springs, N.Y, in an interview with WebMD. "Americans are simply not getting
enough activity, and we're eating too many high-fat foods."
Women who begin an exercise program should use their ability to run or move
fast to gauge their general level of fitness, says Bell, who is vice president
of a private research company in Natick, Mass.
"This will help you assess your risk of injury," says Smith. Women
should measure their waist and abdomen regularly, since "changes in
abdominal size are more important than weight from a health standpoint."
She says when you start an exercise program, "pay attention to how fast
you're walking or running. See how long it takes you to do a mile, and check
yourself periodically every few months. That could be a tremendous motivating
factor. Sometimes you don't realize how much progress you're making."
- A new study shows that women are at higher risk of sports-related injuries
than men because they are less fit, not because they are female.
- In a study of military recruits going through basic training, women were
twice as likely as men to suffer injuries.
- When researchers adjusted for fitness level, they found that the most fit
men and the most fit women had similar rates of injury, and with descending
levels of fitness, the injury rate increased similarly in both groups.