Exercise in general is very beneficial. It helps improve cardiovascular health, reduces stress, helps with weight maintenance as well as overall quality of life. And yet it can play a role, or be a trigger, for a combination of health issues called the Female Athlete Triad.
This syndrome, which includes disordered eating, menstrual dysfunction, and reduced bone mineral density, can be present in female athletes of all levels; from high school girls just joining a team to elite adult athletes. Whether intentional or not, it occurs when there is a lower calorie intake than what the body needs to support increased activity, needs for recovery, as well as necessary nutrients for everyday functioning.