Publication Date: May 16, 2023
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How the latest science can help women achieve their athletic potential
Over the last 50 years, women have made extraordinary advances in athletics, accomplishing incredible feats and smashing long-held beliefs about the limits of their physical capabilities. Today, more women than ever are playing sports and staying active longer. Whether they’re elite athletes looking for an edge or enthusiastic amateurs, women deserve a system and culture of sports that helps them thrive, one that’s based on science and tailored to their lived experience.
And yet, the institutions of sport and science have largely ignored the needs of this growing population. Women to struggle to find accurate advice to help them feel and perform their best. More often than not, the guidance they receive is based on research that fails to take into account their experiences and the distinct anatomy, biology, and physiology of female bodies. So much of what we take as gospel about exercise and sports is based solely on studies of men. Men’s experiences set the standards for athletic progression, training and nutrition guidelines, injury prevention protocols, and athletic gear design.
The good news is that this is finally changing. Researchers are creating more inclusive studies to close the gender data gap. They’re examining the ways women can boost athletic performance, reduce injury, and stay healthy.
Sports and health journalist Christine Yu disentangles myth and gender bias from real science, making the case for new approaches that can help women athletes excel at every stage of life, from adolescence to adulthood, through pregnancy, menopause, and beyond. She explains the latest research and celebrates the researchers, athletes, and advocates pushing back against the status quo and proposing better solutions to improve the active and athletic lives of women and girls.
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