Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Women's Fitness Q & A: Weight Loss Plateau and Knee Weakness

On Facebook and Twitter over the last few weeks, I asked you to ask me any questions you might have about women's health and fitness. Today, I am going to tackle a few of those questions in the next overdue installment of...

Q: Why when you are losing weight do you plateau? I have lost 10lbs and now I have been holding at the same weight for 2 weeks.  What can I do to break this? - Shannon

A:  Congratulations, Shannon for getting active and seeing results!  The first 10lbs are often the easiest to lose, while many of us struggle to lose the last 10 lbs.  This is often caused by an exercise plateau.  Simply put, our body no longer responds to the stress we put on it. (I talk more about plateaus here). 

However, all hope is not lost!  Here are a few ideas to help kick start your body back into high gear:

  • Challenge yourself by mixing up your workouts and upping the exercise intensity (Check out the Workout page for some inspiration.)
  • Eat enough of the right foods (whole grains, veggies, lean meats. etc.) to support your goals and activity level
  • Make sure that your stress levels are in check
  • Get good quality sleep

If you need support in any of these areas, check with your health professional.  I hope that helps and best of luck with your weight lost journey!  It sounds like you are headed in the right direction.

Q: Why are women's knees so weak? I always hurt after an intense workout. - Lisa

A: This is a fantastic question, Lisa.  Here are some interesting facts I came across when researching the answer:

  • Women injure their knees 4 times as much as men when playing sports
  • Women have twice the knee osteoarthritis
  • Women are 6 times more likely to suffer from knee injuries

So, why are women's knees weaker than men? The reason for this is based on a woman's structural weaknesses and hormones.

Well, we can't change how we are built, but there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of injury:

  • Invest in arch supports
  • Reduce the use of high heels
  • Work on developing the muscles of the leg that surround and support the knee
  • Add lower impact activities such as swimming into you workout regime
  • Maintain a healthy body weight to take excess pressure off the knees

If you suffer from a knee injury or are concerned about your knee health, check with your doctor to talk about the best treatment options for you.   Thanks for your question, Lisa!

If you have more questions, I would love to hear from you!  Post below or send me an email tracy_at_committofitblog_dot_com.

Stay Healthy,

Why You Must Protect You Knees, WebMD
Females Have More Knee Pathology than Men, Smart Feet

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