As an Allied Health Professional it concerns me when I hear people negatively comment on women with muscle. Please consider the following factors the next time you go to say something either directly to or about a female you have perceived to be either “too muscular” or “like a man”.
1. Worldwide, 1 in 3 women over age 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures AND for women over 45 years of age, osteoporosis accounts for more days spent in hospital than many other diseases, including diabetes, myocardial infarction and breast cancer (International Osteoporosis Foundation). Any female who participates in resistance or weight training from an early age is going to significantly reduce her risk of having bone mineral loss and consequently improve her quality of life as she ages.
2. Approximately 15% of women experience an eating disorder at some point during their lifetime and these types of comments may be offensive or provocative in relation to such issues. A female with good muscle mass is more desirable than a female suffering from body image problems and so we need to feel proud of their bodies (no matter their shape/size) and be complimentary of their efforts to build muscle.
3. A woman with increased muscle mass is more likely to be able to defend herself in the case of physical attack and as a Mother of two females, I hope they will always be strong and capable for this reason.
4. Once a woman has children, she will need to be able to carry, lift, push and pull weight. The stronger she is the easier this transition will be and the more independence she will have. In addition it will empower her to play all sorts of wonderful games with her children providing the opportunity for fun play and bonding.
And finally, she is likely to feel proud of what she is able to do as a result of the strength she has, from simple daily tasks to more complex and adventurous things. Being strong and having muscles is not about aesthetics, it’s about health, well-being, quality of life and functionality. Let’s encourage women to take care of themselves, including maintaining good strength and muscle mass throughout their life time.