If this blog post inspires ONE female to get more physically active – whether completely new to fitness, or having not hit gym in a few months – my work here is done.
Photo credit: This Girl Can
We all know that exercise is good for us, for so many reasons. See here, here and here.
This week at MMU Sport, we are celebrating BUCS This Girl Can Week. We’ve been encouraging female students and staff at Manchester Met to attend at least one Active Campus session this week (and hopefully beyond).
Today we are throwing a free ROLLER DISCO party to close the week with a bang for all female students and staff! More about my love for roller discos later, but first up, This Girl Can.
Photo credit: This Girl Can
Not familiar with This Girl Can? Where have you been?! Get ready to get fired up with pure body positive fitness inspiration and motivation, with LIFE-AFFIRMING video footage of real women really working out and thoroughly enjoying themselves!
Sport England conducted research soon after their first This Girl Can campaign, to see how many women and girls had been inspired to take part in physical activity, and the results were astounding.
Their first video (above) was soundtracked by Missy Elliott’s iconic Get UR Freak On. Top marks from me! Also, every woman should read about Missy’s feminist legacy. Period.
Then there was the This Girl Can: Phenomenal Women video campaign, soundtracked by the late and incredible writer Maya Angelou reciting her Phenomenal Woman poem. These campaign videos invigorate me with a powerful ‘I can do this’ feeling, significantly more so than any movie montage or fitness magazine I’ve ever seen.
There are many reasons why many women and girls don’t automatically feel like they want to start engaging in exercise, but sometimes all they need is a little bit of inspiration. I am so grateful that a big part of my work at MMU Sport is empowering female students and staff with high energy and enjoyable fitness classes at Manchester Met. We had high participation for my F.I.T Classes during BUCS This Girl Can Week on Tuesday night!
Many of the participants were asking about the free roller disco, HAPPENING TODAY 14:00-16:00 at Sugden Sports Centre. I’ve compiled an awesome playlist to get people people moving this afternoon!
So how about some roller skating inspo? HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT TO JOIN THIS GIRL SKATE GANG?! I know I do!
I’d give anything to travel back in time to a Saturday night roller disco in the 70s, but hey ho, I will settle for a roller disco in the now. There’s no time like the present! There’s a lot to be said for roller staking in this day in age. Look at the wild popularity of roller derby! And if you’re not yet familiar with roller derby, the Whip It movie is a decent introduction. And follow Ellen Page and Juliette Lewis on Instagram. Do it. Now.
Shout out to Manchester’s finest: The Rainy City Roller Girls!
Still not sure if you want to get involved in the roller disco at Sugden Sports Centre today? If you don’t like contact sports, don’t let roller derby put you off, the roller disco is all about skating around to great music. The only thing that roller derby and roller discos have in common is the focus on skating around in circles on classic quad skates, and having a lot of fun!
Photo from skatehut
There will be pro roller skaters giving demonstrations today at Sugden, so beginners are totally welcome. They might even show you a few tricks too!
I AM SO EXCITED!
Last thing, if you are new to exercise and want to give it a try, here are my Top 10 pieces of advice!
1) Have a think about your health and fitness goals. For example: Get stronger, increase overall fitness level, tone up… Write them down, and revisit them in 2 months.
2) Start an exercise diary. It sounds time consuming, but if you can keep a note of things like time elapsed and distance travelled on the treadmill for instance, you will start to notice that your time and distance are becoming more and more impressive as you get fitter and stronger! Or keep it simple, just make a note of how you feel before and after working out.
3) If you’re interested in gym based exercise, shop around and join a gym. Hit the gym regularly to enhance your fitness level, and to get your money’s worth.
4) If you don’t want to train in a gym, you can do YouTube workouts in your bedroom. You can train outdoors. But if you do, think of your safety, and if possible, go running with a friend, or a running club. Or start up your own squad!
5) Research sports clubs in your area. You might be surprised. There are a lot of people LIVING for regular exercise, making all kinds of physical activity happen, quite probably, close to where you live.
6) If you’re new to a sports club, fitness class, or gym, tell the instructor. They will probably tell you to take it at your own pace, to give them a shout if you don’t understand anything, and to enjoy it! If you have any injuries or health implications that might affect exercise, ask your GP. Tell the instructor about any injuries or difficulties, and they can tell you which exercises to avoid, and what to do instead.
7) Ask questions. Everyone has to start somewhere, and using the correct technique will help you reduce risk of injuring yourself or others, and you’ll get the most out of your training.
8) Be realistic. Many social media posts can be drastically unhelpful. It’s not physically possible to “Get your summer body in 2 weeks.” For a start, your body is already “beach ready”, whatever it looks like! But if you want to tone up and get muscular definition, you need to be training 3 times a week. Toning comes from weight training, resistance training and bodyweight training, which create tension in the muscles. You can lose tension in days, so keep the training regular. As the saying goes with regard to muscular toning, USE IT OR LOSE IT!
It can take up to 6 weeks of regular training to really start to see and feel results. But when you start to see and feel the difference, all that hard work is so worth it!
9) Don’t wait until all of the annual “You ate too much over the festive season” get-fit-hype everywhere you look in January. Why not start now and hit the ground running?!
10) Give yourself a pat on the back, and be kind to yourself. If you need rest, listen to your body and rest. Rest days are just as important as working out, so that your body can recover and you can bounce back into your next training session with more energy.
I could go on, talking about the importance of eating a nutritionally balanced diet (including treating yourself), training to enhance your life and not as punishment for eating unhealthily, and bigging up Yoga With Adriene on YouTube (she’s A-M-A-Z-I-N-G) but stay tuned for future posts!
Must go, I’d better get my skates on…
Amy questions, get in touch!