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2015 Womens Health and Fitness Summit – The Roundup

The second annual Women’s Health and Fitness Summit is now done and dusted. But for the couple of hundred attendees, their lives have forever changed.

Here are some of the key pieces of knowledge, that our own WNiF editor, Analee Matthews, learned from the sessions that she attended:

Jane Scott, Marketing Manager for Analytica for PeriCoach made it very clear at the opening ceremony, that incontinence is common, but it’s not normal. And people who experience the condition should seek help because they do not have to live with the inconvenience that incontinence causes. And this key message  was reinforced in virtually all sessions throughout the entire weekend.

Comedian and Women’s Health physio, Elaine Miller from Gussett Grippers in Edinburgh, Scotland reiterated Jane’s sentiments in her comedic routine, when she said:

  • 1 in 3 women wet themselves (urinary incontinence)
  • 1 in 10 people poo themselves (faecal incontinence)
  • more people have incontinence than the common cold
  • there is an 80 per cent cure rate when sufferers work with women’s health physiotherapists.

Robin Kerr said that health comes from movement. And in her sessions, she challenged the current definitions of the core, explaining how they often vary among different health professionals. Robin suggested that the core is not specifically the abs or the TA, but that it’s actually invisible and what we  see is moreso the impact of how strong/weak/healthy the core is. Robin also explained how the pelvic floor is not a flat sheet, but a 3D structure, and she introduced a lot of new terminology, such as “tensegrity” and “machanotransduction” as new and upcoming physiological explanations for movement (remember that you heard them at the WHFS first!).

Robin also explained how breathing can be a big disconnector with the core, including how feet and breathing can actually cause pelvic floor issues. She recommended that fitpros who have clients with asthma or shallow breathing issues, should establish working relationships with a local physio.

Jenny Burrell from the UK advised that health and fitness professionals should provide bespoke programming for women. Fitpros should be asking clients how their energy levels are at the start of every session, and even ask them what they’d like to do during that session. She recommended fitpros start delivering what their clients want as a way to get best results – rather than deliver cookie cutter programming. Jenny explained how female clients are busy and strung out and they essentially want permission to rest and reeneegise.

Jenny also believes that the biggest gift fitness professionals can give to their clients is to extensively educate them so they can feel empowered to take and retain control over their own health. She stated that an ounce of prevention is better than a tonne of correction.

It is crystal clear from this event, that when you’re programming for women’s health and women’s fitness there are a lot of issues to consider. And although this event has historically predominantly attracted  females, hopefully next year the gents will realise the importance of this information, and attend as well – especially considering so many male PTs have female clientele.

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