Mrs. Ambrose Stahl
Communications & Littérature IV
November 28, 2018
Which gender is more likely to run on the treadmill?
On the week of November 12-16 a researcher visited the Ligonier Valley Young Mans Christian Association (YMCA), spending an hour each day watching who was getting on the treadmill. During each hour long observation period the researcher counted the number of women that got on the treadmill as well as the number of men.
As they conducted their research they noticed a trend almost every person to run was a woman. On day one 20 people ran in a one hour long period 15 of them were girls with only 5 of them being men, the same pattern continued the entire week. The final statistics gathered showed a drastic difference in the number or women compared to men with only 25% of runners male and 75% being female
Before beginning this study the researcher had a clear hypothesis on what the answer to his or her question would be they believed that women would run more often than men. Since statistically women’s health studies have found that women prefer to have a slim or skinny appearance as opposed to men who supposedly aim for a more muscular sculpted appearance. By gravitating towards one extreme, such as solely relying on strength training or on cardiovascular exercises, an imbalance in our fitness regimens is created. The occurrence of these trends often occurs due to the misinformation that tends to circulate about fitness and health. Fad fitness tips tend to travel by word of mouth, some myths are told by big-name trainers or seemingly official experts. Celebrity trainers such as Tracy Anderson, who trains celebrity clientele perpetuate extreme fitness myths. For example, Anderson’s “Tracy Anderson Method” recommends that women not lift weights over three pounds to avoid bulkiness. Additionally, not long ago, the male-oriented fitness enthusiast Bret Contreras published a list of tips for women wanting to participate in strength training, suggesting that women “must be taught” certain forms and that they “are not very competent” in performing certain exercises. These trainers perpetuate myths and reinforce misinformed ideas about health and well-being while further enforcing specific body ideals. Popular women’s magazines, such as Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health, often focus on the new hot tip to lose weight, to get in shape or tone up while men’s magazines such as Men’s Health discuss ways to build muscle and stay lean. These myths perpetuate the fear of edging outside one’s perceived gender. If a woman lifts, she may be concerned that she will develop a masculine physique. Likewise, some men will presume that cardio will make them thinner
In order to back up the previously stated observations the researcher found three sources one of which came from one of the Ligonier Valley YMCA’s most trusted personal trainers Adam Brown who is a certified trainer. His clients include law enforcement officers, student athletes, Iron Man Triathletes, and senior citizens. Adam specializes in injury prevention, functional movement, weights, kettle bells, and body weight exercise. After asking Adam why is the observer seeing so many women run compared to men his answer was “Men and women are simply built different. Some types of exercises will effect a women different than a man”
Another source from thedailyevergreen.com stated that: “During a visit to the gym one may notice a general trend: Boys lift and Girls do cardio…These are not local trends specific to your gym. The statistics demonstrate the gender imbalances within fitness related activities” according to Running USA and ACTIVE Network only 20% of women will practice any form of weight training on a continual basis where as men seem to revolve around the objective of gaining muscle or bulking up according to a Web MD article
Bolin, Anne, and Jane Granskog, editors. Athletic Intruders: Ethnographic Research on Women,
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Juhl, Mette, et al. “Occupational Lifting during Pregnancy and Child’s Birth Size in a Large Cohort Study.” Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, vol. 40, no. 4, 2014, pp. 411–419. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/43188035.