Who runs the world?

Happy International Women's Day, everyone!
Wellness Wire
IN a nutshell
Hello, everyone, and happy International Women's Day! Fun fact: IWD started 114 years ago as an annual day for women to "press for their demands." I'll go first: I demand that someone come and clean my car immediately.
OK but in all seriousness, women around the world face significant obstacles to their health. Today, we're honing in on one in particular: the gender gap in physical activity. Below, learn why women tend to get less exercise than men, plus tips for building a fitness routine that works for your body and lifestyle.
Some other stuff we'll be talking about:
boob-themed exercise equipment
the mental health crisis among teen girls
Kylie Jenner on postpartum depression
how to lower your risk of dementia as a woman
more health stories you need
Stay sharp,
Ginger Wojcik
Newsletter Editor, Healthline
  Written by Ginger Wojcik
March 8, 2023 • 7 min read
Women need to work out, too
what's got us buzzing
Women need to work out, too
You've heard of the gender pay gap, but did you know there's a gender exercise gap, too? That's right, research shows that women around the world are less physically active than men. (Cue a collective "Duhhhh" from every mother in the audience.) Indeed, among some married couples, women frequently do more than their fair share of household work than men, even when both spouses have a "real" job. They also tend to have less expendable income. Both of which can get in the way of exercising.

As individuals, there's only so much we can do to close the gender exercise gap. For example, we can't snap our fingers to expand access to child care to make more time for a trip to the gym. But there are steps we can take to make exercise more accessible in our own lives. "Find something you enjoy and feel good doing," suggests Brooke Mathe, MS, CSCS. "And remember that every little bit of movement counts!"

Here are some more actionable movement tips from Mathe:
  • Split it up so you have three 10-minute bouts of exercise a day.
  • Fit in some physical activity during your lunch break.
  • Make it a family affair: Go for a group walk after dinner or do a family dance-off.
  • Do it at home: No need to go to a gym or take a class.
  • Get an exercise buddy!
So which parts of your body should you focus on strengthening? "Generally speaking, our upper bodies have less capacity for strength than our lower bodies," says Mathe. "But that doesn't mean we should only focus on one area. I think a good mix of exercises is key."

Looking for a no-nonsense upper body workout? We got you. This 15-step routine takes around 20 minutes and requires zero equipment.

Lastly, don't forget about your diet. "It's important that women get enough calories while training. Optimizing nutrition for exercise is ineffective without enough energy to fuel basic functioning," says Mathe. If you're hitting the gym hard, she recommends prioritizing iron, vitamin D, and calcium, which female athletes are often deficient in, plus loading your diet with nutrient-dense foods.

tl;dr: Research shows that globally, women get less exercise than men. This can be due to the limited time they have to exercise while balancing other responsibilities. When building a fitness routine as a woman, you may want to focus on strengthening your upper body, but a good mix of exercises is key. For starters, check out this 15-step upper body workout that doesn't require any equipment.
great finds
Editor faves with health perks
You know those great finds you just *have* to tell your friends about? That's how we feel about the products we recommend here. Every pick has been vetted by our editorial team, and we genuinely think it'll make your life better.
Classic Boobs from Kettle Boobs
Classic Boobs from Kettle Boobs
One excellent way to build strength and stability in your upper body is by exercising with kettlebells. Kettlebell workouts usually involve a swinging motion, which can target multiple muscle groups at the same time, and have been found to improve strength, aerobic power, and overall physical fitness.
Because it's International Women's Day, we're excited to highlight the woman-owned brand Kettleboobs, which sells these adorable boob-illustrated kettlebells, among other quirky fitness gear. For a kettlebell workout that targets your shoulders, check out this routine from our friends at Greatist.
Shop now
say what
Look who's talking
"I would tell those women not to overthink things and to live all the emotions of that moment to the fullest. Stay inside that moment, even if it is painful. I know, in those moments you think that it will never pass, that your body will never be the same as before, that you will never be the same. That's not true: the hormones, the emotions at that stage are much, much more powerful and bigger than you."

Kylie Jenner, on postpartum depression
Jenner recently opened up about postpartum depression, a common mood disorder that affects 1 in 9 people after giving birth. Jenner said she experienced postpartum depression after giving birth to her first child Stormi in 2018 and her second child Aire in 2022. If you're dealing with postpartum depression, you can find a list of support resources here.
A sadness epidemic is hitting teen girls in the United States
Wednesday Kick Start
A sadness epidemic is hitting teen girls in the United States
Youth mental health has been declining for a decade, but it erupted into a full-fledged crisis once the COVID-19 pandemic struck. And teen girls have been disproportionately affected, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This report shows there's a "concerning increase" in sadness and exposure to violence among teen girls, with the highest levels of these issues ever recorded in 2021. Some of the largest increases included:
1 in 5 experienced sexual violence, up 20% from 2017
3 in 5 felt persistently sad and hopeless (a marker of depression), up 60% from 2011
1 in 4 seriously considered attempting suicide, up 60% from 2011
1 in 10 attempted suicide, up 30% from 2011
So how do we protect teens from these harms? The CDC has identified a range of evidence-based strategies that schools can put into action to help. But school is just one aspect of a young person's life. If you live with or are close to a teenager, consider talking with them about their mental health. It may also help to know about online counseling resources, which can be more affordable than traditional therapy.
The isolation of modern life affects everyone, no matter their age or gender. And while it may feel uncomfortable or inconvenient to form connections, creating and participating in systems of support is one of the most important ways we can make the world a safer place.
If you've been experiencing thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please reach out for support. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is 988, and you can call it anytime day or night to get support that's 100% confidential. You can also refer to this longer list of helpful resources.
health stories you need
What we're reading next
💉 "Ozempic helped me lose weight when nothing else could." After years of trying to lose weight, Joan Lewis was prescribed Ozempic. Here, she talks about how things have been going.
🏃 Lifestyle habits that can reduce your risk of dementia. Women make up two-thirds of people with dementia. These changes can help reduce your risk.
🚸 You're probably not as "bad" at parenting as you think. This week on the IMH podcast, host Gabe Howard talks with Dr. Carla Naumburg about how to be more confident in your parenting skills.
🧻 PFAS in toilet paper may be contaminating wastewater. Learn about new research involving "forever chemicals," which are associated with cancer, infertility, liver disease, and more.
📽️ Living with atopic dermatitis as a Person of Color. In this video, Rakhi Roy talks about how her darker skin tone made it difficult for her to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
you're up
Something I'm grateful for in life is that I found two forms of exercise I truly love: yoga and surfing, both of which give me endless and profound joy. Best of all, having these dual passions means that I never have to force myself to exercise. Rather, it's built into the fabric of my life, which is powerful since my mental health depends on me staying active.
I could talk about yoga and surfing all day long but instead, I want to open the floor to you all.
We want to know: Do you have a form of exercise you absolutely love? Let us know at wellnesswire@healthline.com. (Please note that we may share your name and response in an upcoming newsletter!)
Thanks for reading! Last week, we asked you all to write in with your go-to milk. We're not sure why, but this was one of our most popular questions ever. Here's one of our favorite excerpts, from reader Laura K.

Diversity is the key to a happy gut biome so hubby and I mix it up with several milks. Protein is a big deal in this family, as is great froth. And big protein equals big, fluffy froth. Edensoy and Fairlife (2%) have 12 and 13 grams per cup, respectively, which allows us to alternate these for cappuccinos, lattes, cereal, and other high protein milk needs. (We strategically balance carbs, proteins, and fats.) We're highly active sixty-somethings planning on celebrating our 90th on the top of a mountain somewhere. Wellness Wire is one of our favorite quality health resources and we send our gratitude for all you do helping us to achieve our lofty goal!
Until next time,
Take care of yourself, and we'll see
you again soon!
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