6 ‘Girls Only’ Fitness Questions, Answered

Guys and gals are different. And guys and gals that go to the gym both have different questions about their bodies, workouts and health when it comes to living a fit lifestyle. Our bodies respond to the fit lifestyle differently so we must plan approach things from a new angle.

Here are six questions every woman should be able to answer:

Do ponytails damage hair?

Yes, wearing your hair up in a ponytail style is damaging to your hair follicles. I have super thick hair and I have been wearing my hair up for years and I’ve never seen any signs of damage (that I know of) but according to experts and stylists, wearing your hair up can wreak havoc on your hair and can cause your hair to fall out.

But, don’t go giving up your gym time up-do just yet. Use metal-free hair ties and elastics like the Emi-Jay styles to avoid damage. Also, never-ever put your hair up into a ponytail when it’s wet. This is probably the worst thing that you can do to your hair because it’s most vulnerable when it’s wet.

How do I pick the right sports bra?

According to a 2014 Wacoal America, 80 percent of women are wearing the wrong size bra. The study also found that four out of 10 women are wearing both the wrong band and cup size. It’s important to get measured at least once a year especially if you’ve lost or gained weight or have been following an exercise program. If you’re constantly pulling up your straps, if the back of your bra is always riding up or you’re feeling poked by underwire, you’re wearing the wrong bra.

After you’ve been properly measured and you have a good fitting bra for everyday you can make an informed decision about buying a sports bra. It wasn’t until recently until I found my perfect fit. My sports bras never provided enough support or they were always too tight, restricting and caused chaffing. I was wearing the wrong style and size.

First, consider your impact level. Exercises including aerobics and running require a high-impact bra while activities like walking and yoga require a low-impact bra. If you’re a hiker a medium-impact style will suit your needs.

Next, select your bra by factoring in your cup size. Compression bras fit A and B cups best. Encapsulation and compression bras support C and D cups. Encapsulation styles, which use individual cups to support each breast, are best suited for women with D to DD cup sizes. All of these styles help minimize movement during workouts.

Keep in mind most sports bras last between six to 12 months.

Should I carry pepper spray if I run at night?

First, let me make it clear that you should always run or jog in well-it, populated areas if it’s dark outside. It’s also a good idea to let your friends know where you are and when you will be returning. If you can, always run with a buddy. Thankfully, I’m lucky enough to live in an area that is both well-lit and highly trafficked by walkers, cyclists and runners. However, I know that this is not the case for many women. If you’re feeling uneasy about running at night and if you’re fearful of a potential attack, by all means carry mace (pepper spray) with you on your run. There are products available that are lightweight and slip right over the wrist that allow freedom of movement for runners. It’s best to be over-prepared than underprepared.

Can women take protein?

Don’t listen to the protein skeptics. They’re all wrong. Oh, and those friends of yours who tell you to skip the weights because you’ll get bulky, you guessed it, they’re wrong too. Contrary to popular (and misinformed) belief, protein use is not limited to bodybuilders. It doesn’t matter if you’re strength training or you’re an endurance athlete; everyone needs protein. It’s suggested to consume one gram of protein per pound of body weight each day.
I’ve found that I enjoy plant-based protein powders like Vega Sport in shake form and protein bars from Quest Nutrition. I have a lactose intolerance so taking whey protein was out of the question for me and I also have a soy sensitivity so I nixed that out of my diet too. I was getting really bad headaches, turns out soy can do that. When it comes to selecting a protein supplement it’s entirely up to your dietary restrictions and taste preferences.

Is wearing makeup during a workout bad for my skin?

I try not to wear makeup to the gym but on days where I’m working out right after my work day, I’m guilty, I’ve done it. I was neither for wearing makeup to the gym or against it, but it turns out that I should have been removing my makeup before I started my daily sweat session.

Sweating is your body’s way of naturally detoxing. When you’re wearing makeup it’s hard for toxins to exit your system which causes blackheads, whiteheads, skin allergies and breakouts. Eyeshadows and highlighters can plug your pores causing small cysts called milia and eyeliner can run into your eyes—ouch! Assistant clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA, Dr. Ava Shamban, says wearing makeup to the gym is one of the worst things you can do to your skin. Give you skin a break and hit the gym makeup-free.

Should I exercise when I’m on my period?

Absolutely! Here’s why:

Despite cramps and bloating research has shown that you’re able to conquer your daily workout. Hormonal changes can surprisingly give you boosts, up your pain tolerance and help with muscle recovery. When you have your period and the week after you’re likely to feel stronger and more powerful due to lowered levels of estrogen and progesterone. However, during the two weeks before your period it’s likely that you’ll feel sluggish as your body is less tolerant of heat and processes energy slower, according to Women’s Health Magazine.

Do you have a question you want answered? Tweet me your questions or leave your inquiry in the comments section below.

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