EasyPDHPE > Sports Medicine > How does sports medicine address the demands of specific athletes? > Female Athletes
- eating disorders
- iron deficiency
- bone density
- Irregular patterns of eating are observed in an individual.
- Two common characterizations include:
- Anorexia - avoiding food due to anxiety related with weight gain/losing fitness.
- Bulimia - binge eating followed by purging in repeat.
- Commonly seen in sports where low body fat and an ideal physique gives the athlete an edge - gymnastics, diving, ballet.
- Iron is crucial for oxygen transport.
- Females lose iron during menstruation, therefore they need to intake more iron than men.
- Iron levels should be monitored closely in athletes as a deficit could restrict them from participating aerobic-based sports.
- To avoid deficiency, diet supplements can include meat, legumes, green leafy vegetables.
- Dependent on the levels of calcium.
- Females are at more risk of developing osteoporosis as compared to men.
- If calcium levels decrease, bone density decreases as well, making the bones fragile.
- Diet supplements should include calcium sources to prevent osteoporosis and increase bone strength.
- Bone density can also be increased by light weight training and regular exercise. Contact sports are better to avoid.
- Fitness routines are safe for pregnant athletes, however, they should not include vigorous and intense exercises.
- During pregnancy, exercises help in maintaining cardiovascular health and overall wellbeing.
- The intensity should further be decreased towards the 3rd trimester.
- The athlete should stay hydrated as much as possible, avoid contact sports, and keep check on thermoregulation.