A lot of women are perfectly aware of the fact that physical activity is a brilliant way to become healthier, to be more productive, to fight depression and to be in a good mood.
And most of us really need it.
But sadly, the fear of judgement stops us from being our true selves and from being more active. The good news is that every day more and more women are proving that it doesn’t have to be that way… at all.
A new Sport England video campaign called ‘This Girl Can’ features examples of these women from across the UK. It shows them doing what they like, no matter how good or how bad they are at it, or how sweaty and red-faced they get during their exercises.
What’s more, it has captured the world’s attention, with over 5 million people viewing the video on YouTube in less than a month.
Aside from the campaign’s visual impact, how can it convince ordinary women that you don’t have to be perfect to take care of yourself, you don’t have to have a six-pack to go for a run and you don’t have to rely on other people’s opinion to make you feel good about yourself?
One way is by putting a name, story and voice to the stars of the video in a series of “behind the scenes” films on the campaign’s website. For instance, Sam, 44 years old, whose activity of choice is running, points out that exercise gives you focus. It helps you shut out the world and concentrate on what you need to do right now:
“I probably judge myself more than anyone else is judging me,” she says. “When I’m running all I’m thinking about is getting to the end.”
Victoria, 29 years old, a paediatric nurse from London who likes spinning classes, prefers to take a playful approach to how you look when you exert yourself and embraces it as a reward for her efforts:
“The more you do, the more you enjoy how bad you look, because you know you’ve worked really hard to look that bad.”
Physical activity is also proven to be a wonderful tool for stress relief, according to Julie, 33 years old, who is into Zumba: “You just feel like you can shout, scream, dance and sing.”
The overall message is simple and appealing: To free the body, you first have to free the mind and be proud of yourself. The delivery is also effective with the YouTube numbers showing that people are taking notice.
So is this the start of a new physical activity boom among women? Why not set your own example?
Click here if you’d like to learn more about the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign