Josh Teal : Women Are Biologically Stronger Than Men , Study Finds

The general public has a tendency to misinterpret science. When it comes to questions of biology and sex more misinformation is spread. Josh Teal makes the proclamation that a study found women are biologically stronger than men. This based on data collected in a report from Duke University. What the study did was collect information on life expectancy in relation to sex . What the study discovered was that women,even under periods of extreme turmoil still were able to live longer than their male counterparts. The University of Southern Denmark also conducted a study that looked at men and women’s life expectancy under famines, slavery, extreme conditions  and epidemics. Once more women were able to outlive men. The Max Plank Odense Center on the Biodemography of Aging did not  make the proclamation women are biologically stronger than men. However, news articles either obfuscate or are erroneous in their presentation of the facts. Josh Teal has done this in his article for Unilad. Women have an advantage in terms of survival, rather than “biological strength.” It could be argued that the concept of biological strength does not exist. The proper term would be fitness meaning the ability for organisms to produce offspring and propagate their genes. Teal seems to confuse biological fitness with physical fitness, which are two different scientific concepts and terminologies. The only argument that could be made from Josh Teal’s position is that women have more duration based strength. Women may not be as physically strong, but can be durable in terms of longer life expectancy and better health condition. The gap between men and women in life expectancy can be related also to infant mortality. Baby boys may have a harder time reaching adulthood compared to girls.  Life expectancy and total life span are not all biologically based. environment also has an impact on human survival. The report even stated that ” our findings also indicate that female advantage differs across environments and is modulated by social factors.”

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Are Women Biologically Stronger Than Men ?

Biology is not destiny, when there is a clear impact from environment and other factors. Biology certainly is not static and can change as evolution has demonstrated in the animal kingdom. Women’s survival advantage the report acknowledges does have biological underpinnings. Women no matter which part of the globe continue to outlive men. However, it should be remembered that data may not be as reliable from the ancient past to Middle Ages, because there could be gaps in record keeping. If women have a biological trait for extended life, then it should also appear in ancient history and during the millions of years of human evolution. The report also found that their was an exception with one slave population they was studied in which women did not have a reduced mortality risk. The Guardian  also reported the findings, but presented them in a most ludicrous title : “Scientist Confirm What Women Already Knew Men Are the Weaker Sex .” The term weaker sex has been used against women to indicate biological inferiority. Women obviously are not biological or physical inferiors. The concept of biological superiority is not based in scientific fact. It implies that evolution has a teleological path and that  has a final perfect  biological morphology stage. Calling men the weaker sex in The Guardian article is ludicrous, because their is no such thing as a superior or inferior sex.

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Scientists confirm what women always knew: men really are the weaker sex

Kate Hodal’s interpretation like Josh Teal reaches the wrong conclusion.  Biological strength does not hold to the test of the scientific method. If that were so, then would the longest living animals be biologically stronger than humans?  There are animals that outlive humans by large margins in terms of total life span. Ocean Quahogs can reach up to 400 years old. The world ‘s oldest recorded tortoise known as Johnathan is estimated to be 187 years old. Bowhead whales can reach the age of 200 years. Scientists would not call these animals biological stronger. It seems that the term biology is used often, but few actually understand its meaning. The field of study is vast which encompasses numerous disciplines and applied sciences. Comprehending the definition of biology can elucidate why Josh Teal and Kate Hodal  position is not accurate.

             Biology is the study of  life and its functions. That is a broad and immense task when doing a full examination of the numerous organism and ecosystems that are on the Earth. Biology has major branches that include microbiology, taxonomy, ecology, ethology, genetics, biochemistry, physiology, cytology, and evolutionary biology. Microbiology  investigate microorganisms too small to see with human eyes. Bacteria, viruses, or tardigrades  are organisms that are of interest to a microbiologist. Taxonomy involves the classification of animals and their relation to one another. This is particularly difficult because new species can be discovered and more could exist in the universe. Astrobiology  ponders what possible life forms could exist in outer space. Ecology involves studying how organisms interact with their natural habitat. Human beings are the only organisms that can alter their environment to such a radical degree. Ethology focuses on animal behavior. Jane Goodall  work and direct observation on  chimpanzee behavior is an example of ethology. Genetics explores heredity, inheritance  and the impact of genes on a life forms. Biochemistry takes the field of chemistry and applies to the study of compounds. Lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins function can be understood through biochemistry. Physiology explains the functions and mechanisms of an organism. This should not be confused with anatomy, which focuses on structure. Both anatomy and physiology have a multitude of applications to medicine, surgery, and sports science.

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The organs of the female body

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Cytology studies the cells of  living organisms.  Cell biology reveals that cells are the building blocks of life. Cell biology can also be extended to histology, which looks at the tissues of  organisms. There is considerable debate on what should be considered living. Biologists have debated whether or not a virus is considered alive. A virus is a nucleic molecule in a protein coat and can only  multiply in cells of a host. Evolutionary biology seeks to explain why there is so much diversity of life. The world has so many plants and animals which zoology as well as botany seek to describe. Natural selection and gradual changes over a period of time are theories that suggest many organisms once had a common genetic ancestor for which they branched off. Saying one sex is “biologically stronger”  is not scientifically valid. It also reveals that some have a difficulty distinguishing two different terms of biological fitness and physical fitness.

           Biological fitness and physical fitness are not the same. Josh Teal confuses the two. Biological fitness describes how successful an organism at producing offspring and promoting a certain genotype. Physical fitness refers to the ability to perform certain exercise under fatigue. A stronger and faster person can be physically fit, but if they do not leave offspring in terms of biological fitness they are not successful. The term survival of the fittest is the most misunderstood term in evolution. Charles Darwin did not coin the term, it was Hebert Spencer. The image of violent struggles or vicious competition are associated with the animal kingdom, yet organisms are more complicated in terms of behavior. Animals exhibit cooperation, competitiveness, and social organization. Survival of the fittest does not mean that a “superior” organism has a greater chance for survival. There are animals that were bigger and stronger, but when extinct. The dinosaurs were the largest animals that ever walked the Earth. They could not survive the dramatic change in environment that occurred with a meteor strike and perished.

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The assumption is that the physically strong would be able to survive longer. The weakest could have high biological fitness if they are able to produce enough healthy offspring. 

The smaller mammals would emerge and eventually become the dominant force on land. Australopithicines would appear and gradually humanity would branch off into its own species. Sex selection also plays a role in biological fitness. Organisms have a certain method of  selecting mates. Microorganisms in comparison would have high biological fitness. Bacteria can multiply fast, but does not contain strength or intelligence comparable to a human being. Insects can reproduce more offspring than people. Humans may want to think of themselves as a superior species, but it too could be subject to mass extinct. Some have even speculated it will come by its own doing.

        Environment can have a huge role in life expectancy. The reason men die earlier is that they take more risks, get into dangerous situations, and expected to sacrifice themselves for a greater good.  The culture of expendable males has not disappeared and it is something women will never have to endure. The selective service remains proof of that. Women will most probably never have to register for the selective service. Males are represented more in dangerous occupations such as firefighting, law enforcement, construction, and the military. Modern technology has reduced the cases of higher fatalities in the past, but risk has not been completely eliminated. From another perspective of health men are put under more stress to be providers and leaders of society. At the same time they are not allowed to express emotions in a healthy way, which could manifest in mental health disorder or chronic illness. Men do not have it so simple when viewed from this perspective. Simply living in poverty or horrible conditions can kill a person. The enslaved in Trinidad had low life expectancy, because of horrible working conditions and no healthcare. The free peoples who emigrated to Liberia did not live long due to not having immunity to diseases present in the country. Physical and mental abuse can destroy a person. Survival is not linked solely to one’s genes; environment is an important factor. The female enslaved in Trinidad had shorter life expectancy due to environment. This throws off the other recorded data. Women may just live longer because they do not do anything dangerous and avoid risk.

        It is obvious that there is a difference in durational and physical strength between the sexes. Even though that data is from the past, male and female life span have a gap. There are biological factors for why this is. Women produce offspring, so from a point of survival it would only make sense that they evolved to live longer. The reason why men are on average are stronger was to fight other males for mates. This can be seen in other organisms which exhibit sexual dimorphism. Women did not need to fight over men to acquire a mate. Genetically the X chromosome may provide a benefit of protection. A harmful mutation on the x chromosome would not be a threat seeing as a woman has another. The Y chromosome does not provide that benefit. Oestrogen can enable protection of blood vessels. Sexual dimorphism is flexible. There can be men that outlive women and women who are stronger than men.

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Healthy habits can prevent many chronic illnesses. 
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Not all men are stronger than women. There are some that can pick you up. 
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An older man who may outlive women in his same age group. 

There is no way to account for individual health condition of every individual in the data.  Collecting information on the enslaved in Trinidad would be the most difficult. Slave owners rarely cared about the health of their captives, just as long as they were productive. Preexisting conditions can effect both men and women, which would change life expectancy outcomes. This may be a factor that could have altered the data collection. The study also just took past sample from a few countries. The pattern could still remain, but there could be differences. Asia and Oceania  were not represented in the sample set because it was not available for 1820 to 1882. What can be stated with certainty is that women on average have durational strength according to life expectancy and life span data.

     The notion of a biologically stronger sex is also wrong,because it implies orthogenesis. This now discredited theory stated that organism evolve slowly in a teleological direction. Human evolution is not progressive; it functions more like a tree with multiple branches. The morphology of human beings can change depending on environment and genetics. That does not imply that there is a special purpose for it or a perfect final form. Nature has not intended a perfect form for humanity. Unfortunately, when the general public thinks of human biological evolution the March of  Progress comes to mind. The image that appeared in Life Nature Library has since become ingrained in popular culture. Appearing in 1965 it shows humans evolving in a linear direction.   The discovery of numerous primate species has made it more obsolete.  Currently, it is thought that humanity emerged 200,000 earlier than previously thought.

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The March of Progress
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The Human Evolutionary Tree
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The modern homo sapien

New information and discovery of fossils is changing what biologists have though about evolution. Men and women are physically and biologically different, but their evolution is not that much different. men and women are not separate species. Science is still attempting to answer the question what makes us human.

         The study does show that women have durational strength. It does not demonstrate biological strength. This as a concept cannot be measured. Making such claims of one sex being better than other is nothing more than a revived pseudoscience. The irony is that now their are claims saying women are superior. This pitiful attempt at humor is very telling : ” By the way, fellas, in case you get all angry and insecure, we’re talking biological strength.” There are plenty of women who have some brawn power, but they do not make men feel insecure. Some get much admiration. The method of this study was not incorrect. The challenge is collecting data and how reliable it is. The question is would the patter continue in the following centuries. There is always a risk that civilization could be destabilized by war, climate change, pandemics, and food shortages. This would dramatically reduce the global population. Human beings cannot control natural disasters,but they can create either positive or negative social conditions. Low quality healthcare systems, poverty, and violence are not created by accident. Inequality and oppression can form environments of poor health. Women higher survival rate during periods of turbulence may be based on avoiding danger and genetics for longevity.

Josh Teal : Women Are Biologically Stronger Than Men , Study Finds

Cathe Fitness : If You Have Strong Muscles Do You Have Strong Bones ?

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Bones and Muscles

There may be a correlation between strong muscles and the preservation of bone health.This would make sense seeing as the skeleton is the frame in which our organs are placed.  Without bones our bodies would be nothing more than flesh like blobs. Maintaining bone density is important for human health. Over time bone and muscle mass decrease. Women over the age of 50 must take considerable steps to preserve bone density. The reason for this sex  specific difference is due to sexual dimorphism. Women have less bone and muscle mass than an average man. When age decreases the amount women have less to work with. The reduction of estrogen levels can also cause the reduction of bone mass. Women who engage in large amount of endurance exercise and do not get the proper caloric intake are at risk of bone loss. Gymnasts and ballerinas have this problem as Cathe Friedrich describes. Women can get osteoporosis even before menopause. Extreme weight loss is not healthy either. Weight training can be a solution to preserving and building bone density. Although there is a large amount of research on the effects on the muscular system, bones remain a mystery. Certain studies suggests there is a relation between muscle strength and bone density.

         Bone mass can be effected by a resistance training regimen. One study compared subjects who did endurance exercise with people who did strength training. The groups  was a mix of both men and women. The results showed that the strength training subjects had more bone density. Further research revealed form other studies showed that the amount of time  was also essential. The subjects who lifted on a regular basis had more bone density. While further investigation is needed to make this be a statement of health science fact, it can be assumed the link is clear.

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If we had to take a guess the woman with the bigger muscles may have the most bone density.
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Strength training can build muscles and bones.
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Lifting weights can be beneficial to women’s health.

The skeleton acts as support for organs. It houses the muscle connecting through a system of ligaments and tendons. The musculoskeletal system is the description of both the bones and muscles of the human body. Heavy resistance training is good for health in many ways. Healthcare professionals have advise the use of high impact exercise to preserve bone mass, yet have been gradually suggesting that heavy resistance training can also be and aid. Lifting lighter weights with high repetitions are not effective at building bone mass or muscle to the highest degree. Lifting light weights does still have an benefit. This can be a method of increasing muscular endurance. That is an aspect of fitness that should not be ignored entirely. Bone mass is built in an incredible why, which demonstrates how easily the human body can be manipulated. When the muscle contracts a tendon is activated. This results in the bone being put into motion. Exercise stimulus has to be large enough to induce the formation of the bone. Bones have to make adjustments otherwise, not be functional. A minimal essential strain must be reached to induce the physiological response of bone growth.  This should not be done to a dangerous level otherwise it could cause a bone fracture. The resistance must be 90 % of the one repetition maximum to see an increase in musculoskeletal mass. Bone mass can be changed allowing for the prevention of certain skeletal diseases.

         Bone formation occurs  by means of osteoblasts. These are bone cells that are responsible for creating new bone. Physical activity such as running, plyometrics, jump rope, and step training are enough to activate new bone growth. Osteoclasts have to remold the new bone into its finished product. Low impact activity can still build bone. Cycling can cause bone growth if done frequently. Osteology is the study of the skeletal system and its physiological properties. It has a wide range of applications beyond physical fitness and biomedical science. Anthropology, paleontology, and natural history disciplines use it to uncover the past.  Health science uses osteology to manage or prevent diseases of the bone such a osteoporosis, osteogenesis imperfecta, and scoliosis. Osteogenesis functions the same way in women. The difference is related to amount and how age effects bone and muscle loss over time.

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Bone formation is needed to keep up with muscular growth.
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The structure and cells of the bones. 
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Cycling is a low impact exercise compared to running.

Women have on average less musculoskletal mass compared to men. Overtime this decreases with age. This means women could be more vulnerable to bone related disease related to age and could be at higher risk for fractures. At a certain age falls could be fatal. Hip fractures can become an even greater concern. Resistance training can build a bone and muscle reserve that protects the body. Even a small amount can be good for a person.

       Strength training does have the ability to protect the skeleton. The question remains which exercises are the best. This has not been tested, so the only answer that can be formed is through conjecture. Cathe suggests that exercises that work the back and hips could be the best. Compound exercises are recommended  and isolated ones are too. The problem with doing just isolation exercises is that other areas could be neglected. The point should be to strengthen all bones of the body. Doing bench presses, bicep curls, squats,deadlifts, and lunges should be part of a workout routine. The bones and muscles have to be challenged to see physical change. When training it should be noted that results are not automatic. The process takes considerable time and effort. Bone mass increase can take years. People with osteoporosis are advised to consult their doctor before going into a strength training regimen. Post-menopausal women must be vigilant in regards to bone health. DEXA scans are available to see if a person has osteopenia or osteoporosis. These two are not the same condition. Osteopenia refers to the low level of bone density, but it is not enough to be considered threatening to health. Strength training for people with osteopenia can still possibly prevent osteoporosis.

        Having built muscle would mean that there are also stronger bones to support them. This makes sense from a perspective of morphology. The skeleton is the foundation of the building of the human body. Thinness for women has been presented as the image of health. The reality is this does not have a scientific basis. A thin body, inactivity, smoking, and genetic history are risk factors. There is no complete guarantee that all chronic illness can be prevented through diet and exercise. The human body is a complex network of cells, organs, and physiological functions. At some point it breaks down like a machine. Aging does not have to mean physical and mental decline if certain steps are taken. Regular exercise, proper nutrition, and being consistent with health habits can improve the quality of life. Diet may not be enough to maintain the health of all of the organ systems. The skeletal system needs as much attention as the circulatory system and nervous system.

Cathe Fitness : If You Have Strong Muscles Do You Have Strong Bones ?

BBC Science Focus : Regular Exercise Could Counter The Harmful Effects of Alcohol (2016)

Alcohol and Exercise

It is well known that excessive drinking comes with a increased risk to human health. A study from 2016 claimed that regular exercise could counter alcohol’s damaging effects. The British Journal of Sports Medicine made the suggestion that doing the government recommended amount of exercise could prevent some of the risk that comes with alcohol consumption. The government recommendation is 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. This could anything from walking or cycling. The research is based on a number of health surveys collected in the UK between 1994 to 2006. A team of international researchers also assisted with the study. The data consisted of mostly 40 year old subjects. The conclusions reached were fascinating. The drinkers who even consumed alcohol in the suggested government limits were at a 36% of death from cancer and a 13% higher risk from other causes compared to their  non-drinking counterparts.  The study makes the claim that the more a person drinks, the higher the risk becomes. Exercise may be able to reduce these percentages of health risk. While this study could be on to an important discovery of health science. However, there are other factors that could lead to chronic illness.

        Alcohol consumption does not have a health benefit. Attempts to quantify the amount to avoid health related issues or diseases may not be possible. One drink during New Years eve will not harm a person, but excessive consumption overtime can. There are different classification patterns. Individuals can either engage in light frequent drinking or more extreme binge drinking. Alcoholism or alcohol use disorder is classified as a disease in which someone has a dependency on excessive drinking. A person who drinks occasionally would not have AUD, but a person with an addiction may have the disease. The long term health risk of alcohol consumption according to the CDC  can range from liver disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, digestive issues, and possible  stroke. Excessive drinking may even cause memory loss or put a person at risk for dementia. The mouth, colon, liver, throat, esophagus,   and breasts could be at risk for cancer. People have numerous reasons for alcohol consumption. Social occasions encourage it. Wine or beer could just have a good taste and considered a treat. More severe cases is that some use alcohol to self medicate in periods of  stress or mental anguish.

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Young people may think its something cool to do. Many teenagers start drinking without the knowledge of their parents or guardians. Peer pressure or a new sense of curiosity sometimes make them take unnecessary risks.  A habit that starts early in life becomes difficult to quit as an adult. Alcohol becomes a means to cope with the stress and frustrations of life. Women are now becoming heavy drinkers just like men. Societal strain and economic uncertainty leads people to do to self destructive behaviors.

       This is only one study so it should be questioned. To be considered scientific fact it must be vigorously tested. It should be realized that everyone’s health condition is not the same. Some people have the ability to abuse their own bodies without falling to their demise. Genetics and the family history of health condition can influence outcomes. The sample used 40 year old men and women. Older people should be examined as well. If the same results can be seen with over 60 year old people or advanced age people then the theory holds credibility. Sex can also impact health. Women are going to live longer, which means they have a greater chance of getting certain diseases as they age. Alcohol and drinking is harder on a woman’s body. Women produce lower levels of alcohol dehydrogenase, which enables the liver to break down drinks. This means women can experience the damage to health at a greater extent than men. This means liver disease, harm to the heart, and nerves is more severe.

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There really is not a safe quantity of alcohol . There was the claim that some red wine is good for the heart, but than has come under debate. 
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The liver is the organ that suffers the most damage from alcohol abuse. The liver has the task of  filtering blood coming the digestive tract. 
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Drinking does not kill brain cells. It can negatively effect dendrites of the neurons. Too much drinking can cause memory loss. 

This information is relatively new. Most studies on alcohol were done on men up until the 1990s. The gender gap in this section of medical research has gradually been closing. Exercise may reduce some of the damage,but not all of it. The risk factor goes up  the more a person drinks or consumes an unhealthy diet. The study did not take into account environment. This was only conducted in the UK. The circumstances in other countries may reveal a different story. Binge drinking culture is not entirely universal. There is even some skepticism from BBc Science Focus : ”  The study is purely observational, so no conclusions can be made about the cause of the results. ” The problem with just mere observation is that it may not show everything. It could be possible that some on the survey drank more than reported. At some point light drinking and binge drinking could become blurred. What might be some low levels of alcohol could be large amounts to another person. Drinking can increase the risk of throat and mouth cancer. This was the correlation seen in the study. The active people did not see the same instances of disease. More investigation is needed to fully decipher the correlation. What is known is that drinking should not be part of a regular diet.

 

BBC Science Focus : Regular Exercise Could Counter The Harmful Effects of Alcohol (2016)

Discover Magazine : True or False – Sex Makes Muscles Weaker

Does Sex Weaken Muscles ?

There are many fitness myths and falsehoods about the human body. The one that is the most persistent is that sex weakens muscles. This misinformation continues to spread among coaches and athletes themselves. Discover Magazine  on its website produces a section called “Seriously Science” in which it answers random questions about the field. People have limited understanding about their bodies and even more when it comes to copulation. The origin of the concept of sex interfering with athletic performance goes back to ancient Greece and Rome. They believe that it created too much calm and ease before competition. The only way to verify this is to use the scientific method. An experiment was conducted with weight trained men. This experiment has some  flaws. Women could be good subjects and obviously intercourse is an activity that is not done alone. Seeing as women’s bodies are physiologically and anatomically different it could help verify certain claims. If women have less muscle mass in their bodies it could tell us more about how sexual intercourse effects physical strength. The measurements and methods were sound. The athletic men were expected to engage in sex 12 hours before engaging in isokenetic  dynamometry. The problem was that the men did self reporting of sexual activity. The conclusion may be correct, but it can only be confirmed by replication.

          To comprehend the methods of the experiment,  a general understanding of isokenetc dynamometry must be established. This term describes devices that resist applied forces. Simultaneously, it controls the speed of exercise that is determine prior to use. This technology has the ability to measure the performance of muscle groups. Isokenetic dynamometry can also measure torque, resistance, and fatigue. This has vast applications for physical therapy and rehabilitation. The measurements would be more precise than having subjects just doing their weight lifting routine afterwards.

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While a person doing bench presses or dumbbell curls could also measure strength, the intention is to get a precise measurement. Isokinetic muscle testing has applications beyond mere sports science. It has been used in rehabilitation of orthopaedic conditions. What such devices in the study were used for was documenting muscle force from during five sets of maximal unilateral knee extension. The knee fexion exercise was conducted at 30 degs/s after the men abstained or engaged in intercourse. The time frame was 12 hours. According to the study : ”  the order of this treatment was randomized across participants, and time of day was maintained across all sessions.” The isokinetic muscle testing measured strength and endurance of the subjects.

          There  is a question about the subjects selected. The study just says they were men who were just physically active and in their 20s. Using professional athletes would have made more sense to see if the dramatic change in fitness would have occurred. Then the type of athlete you use also would matter. Weightlifters or bodybuilders could be useful subjects in a study. Weightlifters more so, seeing as they train for physical strength. Powerlifters or crossfit athletes may also be suitable. Women would be good subjects. Seeing as their bodies are different, they have to work harder to attain physical strength. Even the most muscular woman has less muscle mass of a man of equal training. If sex did weaken muscles it would have a greater effect on women.

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The study also acknowledges another problem with self reporting. The men in the study may either embellish their sexual activity, so there is no way of knowing for certain if they met the requirements.Men have the habit about bragging about their amount of sexual intercourse. For women, they may be more modest when discussing this topic. The hope is that subjects would be honest with their answers seeing as it anonymous. Subjects names are never revealed in scientific studies for the sake of privacy. The only way to be sure about the data is not to be reliant on self reporting. However results were produced : ”  data showed no significant effect (P = .34 and P = .39) of sexual intercourse on peak or average KE or knee flexion torque. For example, after sexual intercourse, KE torque was similar in set 1 (198.9 ± 39.1 ft/lb vs 190.2 ± 28.7 ft/lb) and set 5 (163.2 ± 30.8 ft/lb vs 159.4 ± 35.2 ft/lb) compared to when men abstained from sexual intercourse.” The conclusion was that engaging in sex before exercise a night before will not effect physical strength.

       Although the experiment had some minor factors effecting results, its conclusion may be correct. Abstaining or having sexual intercourse will not impact athletic performance. As stated in the text : ” results demonstrate that sexual intercourse does not significantly impact lower extremity muscle force, which suggests that restricting sexual activity before short-term, high-force activity is unnecessary.”Could there be a possible psychological impact? That answer is not clear. There have not been any sport psychology studies that have explored the topic in depth. Sex making muscles weaker is just another fitness myth. The self reporting method does have its limitation. People may either be too bashful or embellish their sexual activity. What is known to negatively effect performance is irregular training, poor diet, lack of sleep, and ineffective training techniques.

Discover Magazine : True or False – Sex Makes Muscles Weaker

Cathe Friedrich : Strong Versus Skinny and Why Strong Is Better

 

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Strong Versus Skinny

Weight loss has been directed at women as the sole means to maintain health. While it is important to manage weight, losing too much can be unhealthy. This could negatively effect musculoskeletal mass of the body. The methods of weight loss that some women have done range from reduced calorie restriction, excessive aerobic exercise, or use of weight loss supplements. Thankfully, more women are using healthier methods. Weight training and a diet that meets the body’s needs can both maintain health as well as improve physical fitness. Women gaining physical strength and muscle is a positive development for women’s health. Muscle can actually improve women’s health. There is a new maxim “strong is  the new skinny” but the goal should not be to replace one body image with another. Women’s bodies come in all shapes and sizes so there should not be one set standard. There are some women who may not like the idea of developed muscle on their body, but when they try weight training they want more. There are five essential benefits that come with developing strength.

        Functional strength is about being able to do daily tasks. Moving furniture, groceries, or shoveling snow are just a few examples. Some women say that is work for men to do. However, there may not always be a man to  help. You may live alone or there just are not big strong men around to solve your problems. Training for strength differs from training for aesthetics. Both use weights to meet different objectives. Strength training along with compound exercises can induce muscular hypertrophy. The body can then generate more physical force. Bodybuilding is about molding the muscle to look a certain way. Both activities can enhance bone and muscle mass. The major target area of exercises should be the core. This is an important center of physical strength generation.

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Mere weight loss has some negative consequences. Too little calories, limited nutrition, and aerobic exercise only weakens the body. A person who is too thin may struggle doing basic physical tasks. Becoming to obsessed with thinness could put a person at risk for anorexia. Strength training can be a healthy way to maintain body weight. Weight loss only does not enable the building of extra bone and muscle tissue.  This means a person will have less functional strength. The impact can be larger on women who have less natural strength to start off with. Maintaining physical strength is pivotal to health as we age. Having functional strength aids in muscle and bone health.

         Body weight can become a concern if it exceeds a certain level. Cathe Friedrich incorrectly uses the term “skinny fat” when no such thing exists. This is more of a colloquial term that people use to describe people who carry some body fat, while to fitting the definition of being overweight. There are multiple body types which in include ectomorphs, mesomorphs, and endomorphs. Some people can be in between these categories. Obesity and being overweight are not the same medical terminology. An overweight person may be carry more weight then they should, but are not obese. Obesity can be defined as weight higher than what would be considered healthy for a person’s height. The risk of type diabetes becomes a concern with increasing weight. A thin person with high amounts of sugar in their diet can still get the disease. This can be managed and controlled with exercise. Strength training can benefit anyone, no matter what age or fitness level. The protection of the circulatory system also needs attention. Heart disease and stroke become health concerns the longer people live. Being active can prevent chronic illness related to the muscular, skeletal, and circulatory system.

          Thinness is not an indication of health. Being malnourished can pose a threat. The body needs food as fuel and exercise to maintain organ systems. Getting too thin may pose a greater burden on women’s bodies. When fat levels decline to such a limited amount estrogen is effected. This may result in osteoporosis or infertility. Thinner people could be at equal or the same risk for diseases that effect the obese. Poor eating habits, smoking, and drinking are practiced by large segments of the population. This is not a concern during youth, but as age progresses the effects of poor health decisions emerge.

You cannot determine someone’s health by just their body type. Only medical exams can determine health condition. However, thinness is equated with health due to a beauty standard. 

The issue here is that people equate a beauty standard of body image with health. The concept has eugenic roots and was based in physiognomy, yet never really disappeared. Beauty has nothing to do with health. That depends on a person’s perspective and the culture in which they are raised. The unfortunate aspect is that it has caused women much distress. The mental toll of attempting to reach an unrealistic body ideal can harm psychological well being. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Strength training does have a mental health benefit.

          Self-esteem is essential to a person’s sense of worth. When women do strength train their is also a mental change that occurs. Women report feeling more body confidence not just how their bodies look, but what they can do. This new sense of self and confidence does not only relate to a sports field. It spreads to other aspects of life. Too many girls and women are discouraged from being ambitious or confident. This restricts their potential and  opportunities in life. Learning discipline, consistency, and goal setting is connected with strength training principles. Feeling like a stronger person gives women a larger boost in confidence. A study from  McMaster University demonstrated that women were more satisfied with their bodies after a twelve week training regimen . They were very pleased that they became physically stronger than before.Women’s mental health can benefit from a strength training regimen.

       Women will live longer on average. This means they have a higher chance of either getting diseases related to age, if they do not monitor their health. If a person does not exercise, the body becomes frail. Sacropenia causes muscles to decrease in power and strength. When a person reaches the age of 30, muscle mass gradually declines. Around the age of 50 the process becomes more dramatic. Bone density is also effected increasing the likelihood of hip fracture. Falls and the fractures that follow can be life threatening. This effects women worse seeing as they have less muscle mass and bone density. Strength training can protect women’s bodies from sacropenia and osteoporosis. The elderly can still benefit from some exercise. A woman that is too thin could be at risk of losing functional strength.

        Making yourself thin is not the most health path to take. The intent is to have enough physical activity and calorie consumption to manage weight. Calorie restriction will only harm progress. Diet should be managed and consist of vegetables, proteins, as well as some fruit.  Thinner people may not have as many health problems as an overweight person, but they are at risk for chronic illness. Losing the ability to do simple tasks become a challenge for older people. While a thin body may be seen as ideal  for women, it is not healthy. Being naturally thin does not pose a health risk, but attempting to be underweight is. Building strength is insurance against disease later in life. Strength training can be done by anyone. It is never too late to start. Women can gain more from a strength training regimen. Improved health, weight management, and higher levels of confidence are what women can gain.

Cathe Friedrich : Strong Versus Skinny and Why Strong Is Better

Spot Me Girl : Six Scientific Reasons Why Women Should Lift Heavy

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Read the Original Article Here

Weight training can be good for women’s health. This has been confirmed in exercise science studies and Spot Me Girl produced an article stating the scientific reasons women should lift heavy. Reading the title anyone who has a basic understanding of science can see the problem. Some people believe by adding the term scientific, it makes a claim more credible or truthful. The fact is science is more of a long term investigation. The only people who use the phase “it’s scientific” have no understanding of the discipline. Part of the problem is that public education lacks good science curriculum. The general public has a limited understanding of it. When discussing the complexities of the human body people are even more uninformed. This partly explains why certain myths about fitness and biomedical science continue. Women’s bodies are subject to either lore, falsehoods, or some form of  medical pseudoscience. Women’s physical capabilities are either underestimated or considered biological anomalies. Women gaining strength and muscle mass is not a physiological  abnormality. It can be scientifically proven that lifting weights can be a benefit to women’s health. Strengthening bones and muscles prevents certain disease. Lifting heavy can be a form of weight management. However, certain claims can be debated. Science is about using a particular technique to understand particular phenomena.

            The scientific method is a means of uncovering facts or explaining the natural world . The process involves several steps. A hypothesis is a proposal for a possible explanation for  a question posed. The hypothesis relevant to discussion is lifting heavy can be good for women’s health. The hypothesis must meet conditions prior to an experiment. The hypothesis must be testable, compatible with other verified hypothesis, and  have simplicity. The misconception is that science seeks to be complicated, yet the desire is to give a basic explanation of the natural world. Having a quality hypothesis enable experimentation. The proposed experiment would have women to work out with weights for a period of time and document the changes in their body. Muscle mass gains would be measured. An experiment must meet a requirement for duplication. Otherwise, claims made by the hypothesis could be put into doubt. Experiments can be classified as controlled, natural, and field. Controlled experiment have an independent variable which is the effected or altered factor from testing. Weights in  our mock experiment would be the independent variable. The dependent variable is the factor that is measured. The level muscular hypertrophy women experience would be the dependent variable. The natural experiment put an emphasis on observation. Field experiments are done outside a laboratory.

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Weightlifting is an example of training for strength.
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Bodybuilding involves training for aesthetics.
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Exercise causes a response from the human body.

Observation has certain limitations. There are things that the human senses cannot detect. Subatomic particles , microscopic organisms, and particular waves of electromagnetic radiation escape human detection with technology.  Pure science was based mostly on observation, but  by the time of the Age of Reason the scientific method developed as a way of validating facts. Observation still is important to science,because it provides a description of the natural world. After data is collected, then a conclusion can be made. Possible limitations of the experiment should be considered and factors that effected the outcome. If the process can be reproduced, then it could be considered scientific fact rather than theory. Scientists do not seek complex explanations rather a comprehensible descriptions of the the natural world.

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The scientific method involves a hypothesis, experimentation, observation, and the collection of data. When that is done a conclusion can be made.
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The human body contains cells and organ systems. Looking at a person we would not be able to see every cell in their body.
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Building strength and muscle can have benefits.

The term “scientific” is thrown around so much that people do not understand its meaning. This also explains why people are more willing to accept false information. Using terms or claims that sound credible can make it simple to manipulate the credulous. There are many myths about women can exercise that people still believe. Spot Me Girl is not immune from these myths.

       The concept of toning the body is incorrect. There is no such thing as toned or bulky muscle. The only purpose these were serve is to describe aesthetics. Women can build muscle , but the amount depends on certain factors. Body type and skeletal structure can vary among women. The relation between the MTSN gene and myostatin regulation also plays a significant role in muscular hypertrophy. Spot Me Girl states ” contrary to popular belief , lifting weights do not make women bulky it firms and tightens muscles. ” The process of weightlifting will not make a woman “bulky” but is possible they can get muscular . Sex hormone function is not the only factor in muscular mass gain from a training regimen.  Weightlifting does not shock the muscles rather it only causes micro-trauma. When adequate rest and recovery is done, then muscle fibers grow stronger. Spot Me Girl claims ” lifting heavy weight will shock your muscles and make them look leaner.” A shock to the muscles would be more like a tear or severe injury.  Another claim seems rather general : “females do not have enough testosterone to build significant muscle mass.” It’s not the total amount of testosterone that aids in protein synthesis, rather the amount of free testosterone in the body. Regardless of sex, mesomorphic body types have a greater ability to add muscle. The muscular women on a bodybuilding stage are not as large as one would assume. However their muscular mass in large in relation to there body frame. The weight of the women competing is lower than that of an average man.

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Compared to their male counterparts, they are smaller in terms of total muscle mass. The male bodybuilders can reach a weight as high as 200 lbs and over. The largest women have reached weight of 175 lbs. Lesa Lewis when competing weighed 165 lbs. The average weight of an American male 196.9 lbs. The argument about women being too huge or manly is a ludicrous one when examining body weight. Lifting does not tighten loose muscle either. Toning does not exist, rather the term is used in a gender based context rather than a scientific one. Women can build muscle, but it depends on the fitness goal and method used.

           It is correct that women’s bodies are capable of gaining strength. Victorian Age medicine believed that the female body was naturally frail and that rigorous physical activity was harmful to women’s health. This was accepted for a longtime and discredited. Load bearing exercise can protect women’s musculoskeletal health. Women have lower bone density and muscle mass. Overtime, muscle and bone mass decrease with age. The health risk of getting osteoporosis or sacropenia increases with age. Lifting weights can be a good method of prevention. It may also be an effective form of body weight control.

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Physical activity is good for health. Being too sedentary could lead to chronic illness. So far the information gathered about women and weightlifting is that muscle mass gain can have health benefits. Building bone mass and strength in the earlier part of life may enable a person who reaches advanced age to have more independence. The increased likelihood of falls which may result in bone fractures can be a concern with the loss of balance. Spot Me Girl only briefly mentions the psychological benefit expressing ” getting stronger by pumping iron can help you in other aspects of life as well.” Women notice they feel more confident, which can be positive for mental health. Daily tasks such as moving objects, doing chores, or anything that requires some physical activity becomes easier. It also reduces women’s dependency on men to extent. Too many women ask men to move something heavy for them or do a task that is physical. Even something as basic as opening a jar women should be able to do in the new age of woman power that appears in public consciousness. It may be just that women do not want to do such physical tasks because they choose not to or chivalry still remains. The only way for true gender equality to be a reality is if women also really understand what it means by equal treatment. That means in this case women should be able to do their own heavy lifting. Strength training is important to women’s health, but medical literature is not sufficient. However, it is clear that load bearing exercise can protect women from chronic illness.

          The claim weight training can improve body structure as a scientific fact seems questionable. This seems to be more of a discussion of aesthetics. The statement itself assumes that a person has a “bad” body structure or a “good” body structure. The morphology of human beings is the same. A person has a head, neck, thorax, abdomen, arms, and legs. There is a variation in somatotype. Some can be ectomorphic, endomorphic, or mesomorphic in body structure. Having a different body structure is not a disadvantage as one might assume. It means approach will have to be altered. Endomorphs will have to be careful about their caloric intake, while adjusting the amount of exercise. Ectomorphs need more caloric with enough training as well as rest to gain more size. Anyone can see improvement in their physical fitness. The total  physical fitness capacity depends on genetics, diet, sex, somatotype, and the training regimen.

tumblr_p4fhsfPITQ1vjlsfvo1_1280.jpg 494fa3592492363denise and susanWhile morphology does not radical change from exercise, the shape of it can.  The human body can be made to look different through weight training. Aesthetics in terms of strength sports really does not have a scientific basis to it. The only argument for that would be symmetry. Symmetry is not only aesthetic to strength sports, but it describes a property amount objects of the known universe and also at the subatomic level. People like symmetry because it is pleasing to the eye. This stated fact is not really a truth rather an expression of  a perspective. Spot Me Girl is correct in relation to the concept of bodybuilding molding the human body like clay. The term body sculpting has also been used to describe this process. What body sculpting refers to is core building or “toning ” exercise with the use of bands or dumbells. This is not different really that much different from bodybuilding, only that it is a way to make using weights more appealing to women. The truth is there is no such thing as “women’s” or “men’s” exercises. If the basic morphology is similar both sexes are capable of various exercises. Sexual dimorphism  can effect athletic performance. Women with weight training can enhance their shape.

       Muscle does have the ability to burn fat. The reason men find it easier to lose weight is due to body composition and androgen production in their bodies. Women have a higher fat percentage due to estrogen. This does not mean losing weight and keeping it off is impossible. If women use weight training to build more muscle more calories can be burned. Metabolism is key to understanding how the body absorbs food. When women  consume food it may convert most of it into fat storage. For most people the consumption of high sugar and fat diets can cause weight gain. Combined with limited physical activity this could put a person at risk for obesity or diabetes. Adjusting diet and physical activity can prevent this.

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Daily physical activity can improve health.
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Muscle has the ability to burn fat.
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Muscles do not turn into fat when you stop training. They atrophy from not being exercised.

It should be known  that if one stops training muscles do not turn into fat. The only way this could happen is if diet was changed. Muscles atrophy from not being used. It can be debated whether or not high intensity interval training  is effective at burn fat or building muscle to the greatest degree. There are numerous exercise fads that appear and vanish,but their claims never have underwent scientific testing. Using a treadmill it has been determined may not be the best way to burn enough calories. It does have the benefit of enhancing endurance, yet will do little for the increase in physical strength. Weight training can go far beyond building strength; it can be an effective tool for weight management.

   The question of weightlifting and posture has been explored very little. Spot Me Girl makes the statement that lifting can improve posture. The challenge with science is that it always has to verify and debate. The article makes a expresses a view with little evidence or support. To understand this problem there needs to be an understanding of what posture is. Posture can be described as ” the position in which we hold our bodies standing, sitting, or lying down.” Without it and our muscles the human body would not be able to hold itself up. Good posture is pivotal to health more than some realize. Back pain and possible strain or fatigue of muscles can occur due to improper posture. Alternations in posture can occur from sitting in a wrong position.

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An example of good posture and poor posture.
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The effect of weightlifting on posture is not completely known.
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Few who train in strength sports demonstrate poor posture.

The age of tablets and cellphones may have compromised neck and back health. Too much sitting for long periods also caused major health concerns.There are methods other than weight training that can improve posture. Do not slouch, because this can cause problems for the lower back. When using a phone do not spend long hours with your neck in the same position. Basic steps could improve posture. Exercise would not hurt considering the stronger the body the better. There still needs to be evidence that weight training can indisputably improves posture.

         Exercise can be a method of stress reduction. Current data shows that during physical activity endorphins are released. Endorphins are a group of hormones secreted from the brain and nervous system.The text incorrectly refers to them as “happy cells.” Their function varies depending on the physiological tasks. They are produced in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.Endorphins also have the ability to reduce pain and elevate mood. Some have speculated that low endorphins may have a link to depression. Studies did show that people who engaged in regular exercise did experience mood elevation from the increase of endorphins.

Structure of a typical chemical synapse. neurotransmitter release mechanisms
Neurotransmitters are how brain cells communicate. Endorphins can be classified as neurotransmitters.
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There are numerous physiological responses to exercise. The nervous system responses is another unexplored territory of sports science.
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The chemical messengers in our brains have the ability to change our emotional states .

The stress is unavoidable. However, it is a person’s responses to stress that seems to be more of a problem. Overreaction to life’s minor issues can eventually take there toll on both mental and physical health. With more awareness about mental illness and loneliness there are some changes that can be made to reduce personal turmoil. Staying away from negative relationships, taking control of life, and not using bad advice from others may reduce stress to a degree. Stress that is induced from environment can be insuperable. Racism, warfare, economic instability, or the decay of society create an abnormal amount of stress on the population. These events are beyond an individuals control. Coping is only a passive way of  not solving a problem. Some challenges in life may not have a solution. Finding an enjoyable activity can allow a person to whether the burden of life. Disconnecting from digital media is fine, but being a way from people may cause distress. Sometimes working out with another person can be encouraging. Exercising can improve mood and reduce stress. The degree and how much exercise specifically is up for debate.

    The general public lacks a basic understanding of science. This is why when the word “scientific” is used people will easily believe a claim, even though it may not be true. The studies that come out by press release are not definite facts; it is a continuing investigation to reach a scientific law. There is still more to learn about astronomy , physics, mathematics, biology, and the human body itself. Relevant to sports science and medicine  it can be said based on experiments and studies that weight training  can be beneficial to women’s health. Training is not a male only affair and women who do it are not masculine. Sadly, this idea still remains yet women are challenging this incorrect assumption. Weightlifting can build bone and muscle. The reduction of excess fat will prevent obesity,diabetes, and heart disease. There are indications that being physically active can also aid cognitive health. Certainly there are more than six reason why women should lift weights.

Spot Me Girl : Six Scientific Reasons Why Women Should Lift Heavy

BBC : Give Your Bones A Workout The Public, Told

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Give Your Bones A Workout

It is common knowledge that people are not getting enough exercise. Even though a person does not have a weight related health problem,lack of physical activity can impact health. The problem is that few people of a basic knowledge of health science or exercise. Public Health England wants to make recommendations and guidelines for the public to follow to maintain optimum health. There report from 2018 made exercise suggestions to the public. Exercise may help people as they age prevent chronic disease or particular health conditions.  Public Health England is a executive agency, which falls under the Department of Health and Social Care. It was established in 2013 to address concerns and the status of public health in the United Kingdom. On its website it states ” we exist to protect the nation’s health, well being, and reduce health inequalities.” This agency is classified as executive. The PHE is responsible for making the public healthier and improving lifestyles by collaborating with local government as well as the National Health Service. The PHE must also protect the public against health hazards and public health emergencies. PHE provides social care service programs which include screenings and immunizations for the public.   The goal is to share information about health as well as conduct research. Using the data collected the PHE wants to provide solutions to public health problems. Public Health England employs 55,000 workers who are scientists, researchers, and public health professionals.  The general public understands the benefit of aerobic activity, but it has yet to realize the potential of resistance training. Public Health England provides some useful information, yet more research might be required to reach a conclusion.

       There is the question which physical activity or exercise is the best to manage health and aging. Tai Chi and yoga can be beneficial. The PHE states ball games, racket sports, dance, and Nordic walking can help a person stay fit. Cycling can also be a good form of exercise. Dance could technically not be considered an exercise, rather a performing art. It still can burn calories,because the body is in a state of motion. Even simple walks can be good exercise. However, these sets of physical activity and exercise most be better at building bone and muscle strength. Although it has not been scientifically tested one of these form of exercise should be better for building musculoskeletal mass. Yoga and Tai Chi may be better form overall balance and flexibility. Nordic walking could probably build better endurance in comparison. Tennis and volleyball can utilize a combination of endurance and strength.

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Tennis and Volleyball
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Dance
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Resistance training
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Tai Chi

If the goal is to combat osteoporosis or sarcopenia  resistance training would be the best solution. This does not mean functional fitness should be abandoned. According to the BBC ; ” only one in three men and one in four women is doing enough of the right types of exercise to keep both healthy and strong, say the experts.” There is considerable debate about what is the right type of exercise or how much should be done on a daily basis. Someone doing exercise for a few minutes may not see the same results as someone doing it for a couple of hours. What must also be addressed is the gender disparity when it comes to physical activity. The statistic given by the BBC shows 33.3% of men compared to 25% are doing the right exercise for their bodies. Women’s lower number suggests some gender bias and traditional cultural attitudes that could negatively impact women’s health. Exercise or anything that involves physical prowess has been thought to be only appropriate for males. The majority of women’s health and fitness magazines promote weight loss rather than serious training or exercise advice. Thankfully, this has changed, but there are some women who still have an aversion to exercise. This can put women’s health at risk. Exercise and physical activity should be part of everyone’s daily routine.

           Age can cause a change in health condition . The consequences of living a long life is that there can be physical decline of multiple organ systems. The bones and muscles reduce in amount. The brain and nervous system can fall victim to cognitive decline or forms of dementia. The circulatory system can be effected by weight gain as a result in changes in metabolism. This is why experts suggest that the young build up their bone and muscle mass as much as they can. The peak of bone and muscle mass in the body is around age 30. From that age onward there is a gradual reduction. Older people can still get active and maintain the amount they already have. Weight training has shown to manage the natural loss of bone and muscle that comes with aging.

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A person has more bone and muscle mass in youth
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Seniors can benefit from a weight training program.
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Women can benefit from muscular development.
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Muscle has the ability to burn fat and manage weight.

BBC offers some caution: ” those who are frail and/or at risk of fractures, including people with osteoporosis, should be especially careful, however, particularly with higher-impact activities such as tennis, and seek advice from their doctor.” Certain exercises or activities may not be suitable on the recommended list. Seeing as women will live longer exercise and  working out become even more important. The average life expectancy could increase if certain environmental factors change. Age should not be seen as something negative or a curse. Taking care of yourself and doing the proper steps to maintain health can improve the quality of life.

         The question of the proper amount of exercise has been subject to debate. There are multiple perspectives regarding total amount. One position is that there has to be a specific amount of time for exercise to allow for health benefits.  The other perspective is that any amount can be useful. Then there is another perspective that amount should not be counted at all rather a classification of types of exercise divided by intensity. The Public Health England states “at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, every week and Strength exercises on two or more days a week that will work all the major muscles.” Two hours and thirty minutes could be either enough or too little for some people. Depending on a person’s health condition and fitness level this may have to be adjusted. There is no reason why strength training could not be done more than two times a week. Working every muscle group may require five days. If weight management is the goal, then it may be advised to have a longer exercise session. The amount and type of exercise a person does depends on specific objectives.

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Training for health maintenance 
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Training for aesthetics  
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Training for strength or functional fitness 

People can train for functional fitness, heath maintenance, or aesthetics. These require a different training approach, diet, and exercise planning regimen. Consistency in both diet and exercise is essential to success.  Recommendations can change for maintaining good health, but so far what can be said with certainty is that exercise is good for you. The difference now is that there is scientific confirmation. Dr. Zoe Williams articulates : ” being active isn’t just about getting your heart pumping – although this is a good way to begin. ” Simply by walking or standing up, a person is burning calories. It may not be burning as much as lifting weights or being on a treadmill, but it still contributes. Dr. Williams is correct when saying ” strength and balance activities work in conjunction with cardio activities like brisk walking, and come with a range of health benefits throughout your life – it’s never too late to start.” However, it is important to have the precise amount to ensure health benefits and so far biomedical science has not provide the answer.  The PHE recommendations should only be seen as accurate, not precise amounts of required exercise for heath maintenance.

          It should also be understood why bones are so important to health. The public understands the circulatory system better, but osteology is a mystery.  The human skeleton is a framework in which all organs can be housed along with muscle and visceral fat. There are a total of 206 bones in the body with half being in the hands and feet. The skeleton anchors the muscles along with the contributions of tendons and ligaments. Organs have a protective cage along with skin. The bone contains periosteum , bone marrow , spongy and compact bone. The skeletal system can be classified into two sections. The axial skeleton consists of the cranium, rib cage, and vertebral column. The appendicular  skeleton contains the upper limbs, the pelvis, pectoral girdles, and lower limbs.

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The basic anatomy of the human skeleton 
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While it is easier to see muscles on a body, the human skeleton is covered by tissue and skin. 
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Bones cells are different from other types of cells in the human body. 
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Lifting does not only build muscle it can build bone. 

Bone is made of  three types of cells. The osteocyte has the responsibility of maintaining the bone matrix in the skeletal system. It can best be though of as stitches keeping clothing seams  joining two or more layers of fabric. The osteogenic cell enables cell division resulting in the production of osteoblasts. Osteoblasts will secrete osteoid, which contributes to the bone matrix. The osteoblasts are not fully developed bone cells. Osteoclasts play a role in secreting both acids and enzymes that dissolve into the bone matrix. Although many think of bone as being static and unchanging, the skeletal system goes though various alterations during the human life span. The skeletal system should not be confused with the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskletal  system consists of the muscles, bones, ligaments, cartilage,   and tendons  of the human body. The skeletal system solely  refers to bones. Like any other organ system it can be vulnerable to disease. Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are common bone related diseases. Leukemia can originate in bone marrow or the lymphatic system. While having a healthy diet can prevent many aliments, exercise should also be part of a person’s daily routine. The amount of exercise can be debated. There is no question that physical activity could be an effective medicine against chronic illness.

BBC : Give Your Bones A Workout The Public, Told