The Reality of Today’s Female Exercisers: A Consultant’s Guide

Tanya Prewitt, North Park University, USA

Theme: Exercise and health behaviors

Program ID: SYM-20

Presentation: October 4, 2013 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Room: Elmwood


It is no secret that women are entering challenge races, mud runs, triathlons and marathons in larger numbers than ever before. Yet, there are still countless women intimidated by fitness centers, yoga classes, and a mile run or walk. Regular exercise places demands on women who are already overextended and simply trying to make it through their daily routine. While there is increasing literature on the correlation between exercise and quality of life (Berger, 2004; Giacobbi, Dietrich & Larson, 2012), convincing some women that they deserve the personal time it takes to be fit is no easy task. How can a consultant help women make a commitment to let go of the misperception that physical activity and exercise is a luxury? Moreover, research suggests that women report a lack of self-discipline as one of their personal barriers to exercise (Netz, Zeev, Arnon & Tenenbaum, 2008). What does a consultant do when she finds herself working with a woman who cannot seem to dedicate herself to adhere to her fitness routine? The purpose of this presentation is to discuss contemporary women’s issues regarding exercise and to provide useful and practical techniques for consultants working with diverse female exercisers. The presentation will discuss: 1) trends in women’s exercise, 2) myths women (and men) hold regarding fitness training for women, 3) the pervasive socio-cultural factors influencing females’ physical activity regimens, 4) women’s exercise fears and challenges as well as useful practices and discussions one can use when working with female exercisers. Attendees will be provided with sample handouts to utilize in their future consulting endeavors.

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