Monday, August 25, 2008

When It Comes To Fitness, Men And Women Motives Certainly Not The Same

“Health, appearance, athletic performance and social approval are the main reasons people work out. And while men and women may express their motivations differently, the differences between the sexes seem to be narrowing when it comes to fitness. While you might think that the motivation to work out comes down to the fact we all want to look good naked, local personal trainers say the Mars-Venus differences are more complex. Their observations reflect both subtle and significant contrasts. ‘Men are more likely to say, 'My doctor says I should get fit' rather than 'I want to get fit,’ says local certified personal trainer Rusty Roussel, the co-owner of Salvation Studio, who says men are often motivated by health scares. ‘Women simply want to embrace what exercise can do for them -- having more energy, looking good, feeling good.’ Local trainers say most women want to lose fat and most men want to build muscle -- the same fundamental goal of a more toned body conveyed in a completely different way. And because their instinct is always to nurture others before self, women also are more likely than men to require external pressure to work out, says performance expert Mackie Shilstone, director of The Fitness Principle at East Jefferson General Hospital. ‘Women make 70 percent of the health care decisions in this country, but they don't make (enough) decisions for themselves,’ Shilstone says. ‘In many cases, a woman begins a health program to satisfy a mother, a friend, a spouse.’ Important life events -- such as a class reunion, a vacation, a milestone birthday, a wedding -- also play strongly into the workout habits of women, says Joe Moore, president of International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). A strong indicator that the sexes have more fitness goals in common than ever before is borne out by the fact that health clubs, once segregated by sex, are now almost exclusively co-ed. Even free weight rooms, once an all-boys' club, are now unisex environments. ‘Men and women did not work out together. Clubs often alternated days between men and women, or they provided dual facilities to accommodate both sexes,’ Moore says. Now IHRSA's membership rolls show that women make up more than half of health-club memberships, which runs counter to research that shows women are still hesitant to work out alongside men.”

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