August 04, 2003

The Password is "Sedentary" >From

>From iWon's Health section: Mirrors Don't Reflect Kindly on Women Working Out.
    Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fittest woman of all?

    You may not get the answer you desire if you exercise in a gym where the walls are actually adorned with mirrors.

    That surprising finding comes from a Canadian study in the journal Health Psychology. The research found sedentary women who exercised in front of a mirror for 20 minutes felt less energized, less relaxed and less upbeat and positive than women who exercised without a mirror.

    The McMaster University study also found women who didn't exercise with a mirror felt less physically exhausted after a workout, while those who did their workout in front of a mirror reported no change in their levels of exhaustion.

Gyms can be intimidating places with grunters of both sexes (I'm trying to be fair, here), men who can lift three times a normal woman's body weight...with one arm, and socialites who hog machines or benches while gabbing about nothing. But, ladies, the mirrors are typically there for a reason, and that reason is a one-syllable, one-word exercise maxim. FORM. Yes, it matters how you lift and lower the free weights and/or weight stacks. It matters in many ways - from isolating and working the proper muscles to ensuring that you avoid unnecessary injury. The purpose of the gym is not to make you FEEL good while you're there; it's to make you feel fabulous every other minute of the day/week/month/year/life. And do more.

    Further research in "real-world" exercise settings are needed to determine if this mirror-related negative effect is widespread, the researchers say.
I think I'd smack the first "researcher" who approaches me at Gold's and says, "excuse me, are you a sedentary exerciser."

And then he (or she) would know.


Posted by hln at August 4, 2003 05:55 PM | Health