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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Points to consider

Choosing sports shoes

Sports shoes are probably the most important piece of equipment you'll buy, so it's vital you pick the right pair.

Athletic bras

Most discomfort can be minimised by an appropriate athletic bra.

For A to C cup sizes, compressive bras are helpful; for C to D+ cup sizes, encapsulating bras work better.

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Exercise equipment for women

Manufacturers are now adapting clothes and equipment for women's bodies.

Check your equipment for proper fit before buying it, and find out if it was designed specifically for a woman's body.

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Women, exercise and nutrition

There are many nutritional differences between men and women.

  • Women consume fewer calories than men and tend to try and eat less, overly concerned about the fat content of food.
  • They have a higher incidence of eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia) and other disordered eating patterns, such as frequent fasting, use of diuretics, and faddish, unbalanced eating.
  • They have higher needs for calcium and iron in the diet than men do. Women have higher iron needs due to menstrual blood loss. Foods highest in iron content are iron-fortified products such as certain cereals. Foods that naturally contain iron include red meat, dried apricots and large amounts of green vegetables.
  • Women need slightly higher amounts of calcium than men.
  • If a woman cannot achieve an adequate calcium intake, she should see a nutritionist and consider calcium supplementation.

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OxSport's key message

  • Exercise is good, and we want to promote exercise, but it is important to adopt sensible exercise programmes and training programmes.
  • Make sure you have enough energy intake to support your exercise regimes.

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