As Sport England launches the next phase of its nationwide This Girl Can initiative this January, Hampshire County Council is encouraging Hampshire women to be physically active no matter what their shape, size or ability.
Councillor Judith Grajewski, Executive Member for Public Health at the Local Authority, said:
Lack of confidence and fear of being judged are real barriers to women being active so we are wholly supportive of the #fitgotreal campaign which recognises the reality of women’s lives. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the right fitness gear or look picture perfect, the important thing is to get moving for your own health and wellbeing.
The campaign challenges conventional ideas of what exercise looks like by showing women enjoying exercise whilst jiggling, sweating and struggling to find motivation. It seeks to celebrate women of all shapes, sizes, abilities and backgrounds.
Sport England reports that 40% of women aged 16 and over are not active enough to get the full health benefits of sport and physical activity, compared to 35% of men. Women cite a number of practical and emotional pressures preventing them taking part in physical activity, such as judgement by others, lack of time, money and energy.
In Hampshire there are a number of activities that women can participate in for free, including Walking for Health, a health walks scheme which is open to everyone, and Park Run which is safe and easy to take part in. Energise Me also offers inspiration for being active, at work, outdoors or with a club.
Get fit for free provides advice on how to get started. There are also several useful apps to get everyone going including Couch to 5K and One You which looks at physical activity as one of a range of healthy lifestyle factors.