Today we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women whilst shining light on the areas across the globe that still need to push more energy towards gender parity. So International Women’s Day calls for a discussion about women and exercise!
Exercise is enjoyed by all, life changing for some even – but if there is one thing I have observed whilst working in a large commercial gym last year, it is that women genuinely opt for group classes.
This isn’t new news, group exercise has been the most preferred activity for women since the boom of aerobics in the early 1980’s (thank you Jane Fonda). The image of leg warmers and pastel coloured tights comes to mind pretty quickly to almost anyone – the movement was big, it’s still popular today and you could probably find a class in any commercial gym for a hundred years to come.
The growth of aerobics certainly did not go unnoticed – there are now classes such as pump, step & attack giving everyone variety to their weekly routine. Seems as though group exercise is now ticking all the boxes, atmosphere, it’s social and plenty of variety – but now women can do even more!
Now women have access to bootcamps, personal training, crossfit, running groups.. the list grows every year. We have even heard some Mums say they have too much to choose from! That really is a blessing though, to have so many different options for something that allows you to become healthier and happier.
So how DO you choose which approach will work best for you?
Firstly you have to look at what means most to you, what is it about involving yourself in health and fitness related activities interests you? This is what will keep you accountable, keep you involved and giving it your best. Mobility, energy, longevity – what will you be striving to improve?
Secondly, do some research into what will actually get you results and a return for your time and money. We see so many people attend pump class after pump class without achieving the goals they first set out to achieve, spend a few minutes reflecting on your progress of late and see what changes you could make to reach your goals.
Thirdly, think about what you will enjoy most and what exactly is it that makes it enjoyable. Is it simply that you are training with your friends and that it wouldn’t actually mater if you were trekking Kokoda knee deep in mud and leeches? Perhaps your first step is to acquire a group of likeminded friends or family and go from there. By the way, the fact you are all meeting for coffee afterwards is great but not the REAL reason you all put on your active wear!
And finally, try something new! You won’t know if a particular activity will work for you or not unless you give it a go! We encourage everyone to move every day, how or when you do it is up to you. As we get older, we try less and less things – becoming comfortable with our routine and current abilities and fitness. Learning a new skill, involving yourself in something new and exciting, picking up a new hobby.. people who do this on a regular basis are really getting the most out of life.
The year is still young and tomorrow is often your busiest day, so take action now and plan something that your future-self will thank you for!
Happy International Women’s Day, please reflect and discuss.
Tristan M. Forbes