Can Hair Stop Exercise?

Many may find they don’t want to exercise because they want to avoid sweating or what sweating may cause. For women it can be a hassle to have to shower off after a workout, but for many African American women it can be a larger hurdle. Health Day News reports on this difficulty and the fact that many providers are unaware of this particular issue as a barrier to exercise.

Researchers at Ohio State University found that 95% of doctors speak with African American, females about exercise, but 76% of them do not include hair in the discussion and only 34% were comfortable with the idea of discussing hair along with exercise.

Dr. Tolliver is a family medicine physician at Ohio State and was the lead researcher in this study. She explained:

It’s going to come down to increasing education about African-American hair, African-American females’ cultural practices when it comes to hair, and how you can counsel a patient in an office visit about decreasing that barrier.

Dr. Tolliver advised that for African American women wanting to become more physically active, but who consider hair a barrier:

  • If you’re new to exercise, consider starting with low-impact exercise, such as walking, to minimize perspiration.
  • Try a protective hairstyle, such as braids, twists, buns or extensions.
  • Schedule more strenuous workouts on a day you plan to wash your hair.

Read more at Health Day News.


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