Her Life Depends on It – Part 1

January 21, 2010

Fill in the blank.

Girls who _______ have a reduced risk of breast cancer and osteoporosis, are less likely to smoke or use drugs, are less likely to take sexual risks (such as unprotected sex), are less likely to be depressed or contemplate suicide, and are more likely to complete college.

If you filled in the blank with “exercise” or “play sports,” you are correct!

The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) discusses these and other exercise benefits in their research report Her Life Depends on It – II, an update to a 2004 report. Their research definitively shows that regular physical activity and sports allow girls and women to lead healthy, strong, and fulfilled lives.

When the benefits of exercise are so clear, it is disgraceful that many high schools discriminate against girls and do not offer them the same athletic opportunities and resources as boys. The WSF is one of AAUW’s collaborators on Know the Score, a project that tells community members how to find out if their local high school is treating female and male athletes equitably. Watch a webinar about the project and learn how you can make sure that girls in your area can participate in sports.

Support girls and women in sports by celebrating National Girls and Women in Sports Day with AAUW and the Mystics — the Washington, D.C., professional women’s basketball team — on Sunday, January 24, in Maryland. There will be a reception and panel discussion with prominent women’s sports figures, followed by a women’s basketball game between top-ranked teams at the University of Maryland and Duke University. If you’re in the area, please join us!

How do you support girls in sports in your community? Are you attending any National Girls and Women in Sports Day events?

Holly Kearl By:   |   January 21, 2010

1 Comment

  1. I am happy to know that my 2 mile run and 3 mile walk I just completed will help me in so many ways. I know both of my daughters competed in high school sports, and not only did they receive health benefits, but both of them, now in their mid twenties are still close friends with some of their high school team members. Working out that hard together every day is a great way for deep bonding and I think females should have every right for all of these benefits!

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