In the UK, two million less women are active compared to men. 7 million women would like to be more active.
It is not new knowledge that physical activity and sport is absolutely amazing for physical health, mental health, social health and well-being. Women have had a tough time in sport since day 1. In pre-industrial Britain (1750-1850), women were not allowed to take part in sport. Women were not strong enough. Women were not fit enough. Women did not understand enough. Women were weak, incapable and uninvited. It was not classy, it was undignified and unsophisticated for women to take part in ‘vigorous’, ‘strenuous’ and ‘hard’ activities. So they were told the activities they could take part in, smock races and maybe hawking, if they were lucky.
These thoughts unfortunately still exist today. Did you know, that the London 2012 Olympics was the first Olympic games where ALL countries taking part brought female athletes; the modern Olympics has been running since 23rd June 1894. Did you also know that the major barrier that stops women from taking part in physical activity and sport is ‘a fear of judgement’. Women are being judged for ‘being manly’, women are being judged for ‘being overweight’, women are being judged for taking ‘time out’ to exercise, instead of being at home, women are being judged for playing ‘men’s sports’. Why?
More women need to get involved in physical activity and sport. Yoga, dance, pilates, running, walking, swimming, cycling, running, netball, rugby, hockey, football, athletics, archery, weight-lifting, snowboarding, skiing, surfing, golf, badminton, basketball, lacrosse, horse-riding, boxing, climbing, volleyball, squash, tennis, triathlon – the list is endless and there is a physical activity and sport for everyone. Yes, some cost money to take part, yes some are free. Yes, some require equipment and clothing, yes some require a pair of trainers and sweatpants. Yes, women should invest in their own health, yes, men should support women’s health.
If you are female and are British, I encourage you to take a stand this week and do something active. Do not let the opinion’s of males hold you back, do not let the opinion’s of other women hold you back, do not let the fear of judgement hold you back, do not let yourself hold you back. You are entitled to take part and play in any sport and activity you like, whenever you like.
If you would like to be more active inside your home, I encourage you to firstly head to Youtube which has tonnes of free, guided classes, then I encourage you to invest in an online membership where you can stream virtual classes to your home; unless you’re feeling confident and motivated enough to buy some simple equipment and create your own workout. If you’d like to be more active out of the home, I encourage you to join your local leisure centre, sports team (check out BBC Sport Get Inspired to find your nearest club), or join the movements such as move GB which is a membership where you pay a weekly fee and you can access an array of activities at many participating venues in your city and This Girl Can.
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© 2018. Naomi Laws. All rights reserved.