Tip off: Transcending Stereotypes


Jordan Russell, Sports Editor

When it comes to the world of athleticism and sports, women have often been considered the inferior sex due to our feminine body types.

As a result of higher testosterone levels, it is biologically easier for men to gain more muscle mass, usually making them taller and wider than most women.

When a woman becomes pregnant, she is often seen as even more fragile. Although a woman carrying a baby is responsible for a life other than hers, it does not necessarily imply that she has to limit herself unreasonably and cut-out exercise.

Women undergoing pregnancies were previously often advised against strenuous exercise that could lead to injuries to herself and her child. Recent studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine explored the outcomes of intense exercise during pregnancy.

The study focused on 130 women who continued exercise strenuously throughout the majority of their pregnancy, not resulting in any unusual health consequences, according to researchers at University of Iceland.

Researchers concluded women who continued exercising did not suffer any more birthing complications than those who did not continue working out.  

Another study focused on a pregnant Mount Everest sherpa who continued rigorous hiking well past her first trimester. Despite a week-long trek and low oxygen levels during the climb, the sherpa’s baby was healthy when it was born a few months later, according to Trevor Day at Mount Royal University.  

Although a woman’s body is physically altered throughout pregnancy, she’s not more “fragile.” The ability to trek up the tallest mountain in the world all while supporting another human exemplifies not only an impressive stamina, but tenacity as well.

As women, we also have other internal biological traits that strengthen us, such as having an immune system that ages slower than men. Higher amounts of estrogen give women an increased ability to fight off disease, according to Medical Daily.  

Our bodies are physically different than those of men, however, that doesn’t mean that women should be seen as powerless when conducting athletic activities. Undergoing the process of pregnancy is like a sport itself as it is physically demanding of our bodies. Women should be able to applaud that feat alone without feeling as if they are viewed as weak.     

Most of us will not be pregnant for years, yet we should not feel obligated to limit ourselves in sports because of the stereotype that women are “weaker” than men.