I now feel like it’s the other way around for me - trying to fit work and other commitments around my passion for the outdoors.
Becoming active allowed me to navigate my identity in different spaces and connect/network with others like me to ensure I found the best atmosphere for myself.
Swimming has helped many with mental health and overall well-being.
I love weight training because of the feeling of power and strength that comes with good lifting techniques.
I enjoy feeling like I am a useful part of the team, which I never thought I was or would be.
Exercise for me was always my safe space. I loved it, it cleared my head, made me feel powerful and I genuinely enjoyed it so much.
Potential barriers to open water swimming and swimming, in general, appears to be the issue of underrepresentation.
Now, paddle boarding is my go-to for my mental health but it also opened up this community of incredible women, my cheer squad.
In 2020 I decided I wasn’t going to allow motherhood to be the barrier that stopped me from getting active anymore!
I am a huge advocate of waking up an hour earlier and using that time to work out
I must make football fit into my routine for the sake of my mental health.
Melanin Skate Gals & Pals was founded to empower and uplift the voices of marginalised communities within the skateboarding world.
After my divorce I needed to find myself again, and I found myself when I was surrounded by nature, in the mountains climbing.
Running is vital for my mental health and so I prioritise it.
I’ve met amazing people at races & Parkrun over the years, made friends and travelled the UK and parts of Europe.
I love exercise not just because it is great for my mind, body and soul, but because I have seen how me moving has helped others move forward in their lives.
I found relief and reassurance from sport and I am very grateful to have it in my life.
It’s so much fun, I’m stronger, fitter, I’m making friends and I’m working towards goals. I’m so thankful to Canton Martial Arts. It’s really been life changing.
I realised wheelchair basketball presented the perfect solution as to how I was going to be able to play sport now that I was a wheelchair user. I found Hereward Heat, and have been playing ever since.
I started last year with a breast cancer diagnosis and ended it with Covid. I found inner strength I never knew I had
Little did I know that my walking challenge would become a saviour during the most difficult time of my life!
Running, in particular, is my way of participating in mindfulness.
My journey has been made up of baby steps towards a bigger goal
I’ve never really felt like I loved traditional exercise
You can achieve anything you want to, but it has to be right for you
I want to be an active mother who isn’t afraid to join in with her children and play football or exercise with them
As a mother of 4 working full time, I’ve found it difficult to fit activity into my day
I felt a deep sense of urgency that I had to be as healthy as I could for my children
I’m happy with my body and proud of its incredible ability to grow and birth my two kids
Being a five-time marathon finisher, learning to run again and not being able to run for more than 1 minute felt bewildering and painfully frustrating
It’s amazing to see what women can do when they find the fire to do it
I understood how people felt going into a gym or exercise class because I felt that too
Running is the hobby I never knew I wanted
The first two weeks of lockdown were great - but I knew I had to try and stay active somehow
I have read that when you run, the hardest journey is from the sofa to the front door. There have been lots of days when that has been true, but I’ve never had a run that I’ve regretted.
The further into lockdown we got, my overall life routine was disrupted and I was hardly working out. But now I think I've found a balance
I am now almost twice the age I was when I initially gave up on exercise. But I am fitter and happier than I was then
When I’m exercising regularly, I feel a sense of clarity and control over my life
I’m a 44 year old woman with a wobbly bum and a much more frequent smile on her face thanks to running
One of the biggest barriers I have faced to getting active has been internal self-doubt. Cycling helps me overcome it.
In the past my main barriers to exercise have been motivation and finding something that gets my heart rate up but doesn’t feel like the monotonous slog of the gym. That's when I found Back to Netball.
I exercise for me. I exercise to stay healthy physically and mentally. I exercise to be social. Maybe sometimes, I exercise for cake!
I exercise for the health benefits. I exercise to set an example for my children. But sanity is the main one.
I am a child burn survivor who struggled to accept my own body image.
Looking back I feel like I spent a lifetime making excuses.
Getting up early isn’t always easy, but carving out this time has helped me to become stronger and more resilient across all areas of my life.
It’s early morning work outs or even late night sessions, but for me exercise is a stress reliever
I would definitely recommend joining a rounders team if you are looking to get fit and have fun.
I was torn between the sport I loved and my own thoughts and beliefs.
I’m a self-proclaimed yogi and lover of trying new things.
Sport. Some people hate it, others love it. For me it was a daily necessity.
I’ve always been mystified by super fit people whose Instagram feeds are a collection of sweaty selfies and announcements of PBs. I didn’t get it.
When I was younger, I didn't do much exercise at all.
When it comes to getting active, how often has a lack of time or a lack of willingness to find time been an issue for you?
It's no longer a matter of fitting it in, exercise is a vital part of my day.
"I have always found it really tricky to fit exercise into my schedule."
"When I was diagnosed with stage 4b Hodgkin’s lymphoma , I felt like my whole wide had turned upside down."
"My return to being active started with literally learning to walk again."
"The mental clarity and confidence that exercise gave me far outweighed the aesthetic aspects of looking more toned and fit."
"I have learnt that girls and boys really can achieve the same things."
"I really want more girls to try kickboxing."
"I stopped swimming as the facilities were never very accessible."
"I decided I’d had enough of sitting and watching — I wanted to give it a try!"
"I’m only 6 but I have been skiing for half my life."
"I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be very good as I had never sailed before."
"After three months of sleeping in a separate room and screaming at my husband I thought that would be an excellent time to try running."
"I decided I needed to take control."
"I realised it’s never too late to learn."
"A law student and single mum, I didn't have much time that I could really call my own."
"I had all those common misconceptions about lifting weights, I didn’t want to get big or look like a man, but I gave it a go. "
"I was so nervous - thought I'd be left behind, wouldn't be able to run etc."
"Surfing was never really something I thought my body was capable of doing."
"I wanted to salute my grandma for her bravery and I complete her journey."
"Football is so much more than just a sport."
"I wanted to push myself and try new things."
"I had never been considered the sporty type."
"I wondered whether the gym was something I would stick with long term."
"I loved that as my strength built, people were more and more surprised."
"I used to think that I didn’t have the time to exercise. Now, I’m an active mum."
"Football has always been my outlet and my place where I feel at home."
"I'm slow but I go."
"I’d turned up alone, no previous experience, not knowing what to expect. Would my inexperience stop everyone having a good session?"
"I knew it was up to me to change something."
"I was always having fun and that was all I cared about."
"I was worried that I wouldn’t be fit or strong enough to join a proper team."
"Having done very little exercise for decades, I could see it had been so beneficial."
"I was almost always the last one to be picked for any team sports. This made me feel quite isolated."
"Do not allow one medical condition to stop you achieving your dreams or enjoying the sport of your choice."
"It’s about having great fun but also challenging yourself, falling and getting straight back up."
"The feeling of catching your very first wave is indescribable."
"Swimming has given me so much. I feel much fitter, so much better and so much more confident."
"I was so pleased and surprised to be cycling that I didn’t mind the stares. So what? I was cycling!"
"Life is no longer about what I think I can’t do, it’s now about believing that I can."
I learnt so much about myself: I can run, I am flexible, I can do the splits and boy can I punch
Encouraging a teenage girl to have the confidence to participate in sport is not easy, convincing myself that I can do it has been even harder.
The encouragement from my entire group got me out of bed every Saturday morning
I've learnt from this experience that sport can play such a big role in giving people confidence if they are suffering from physical or mental issues
Taking up running has done a lot for my confidence, wellbeing and my peace of mind.
Back on a bike after 10 years and feel better than ever.
I’ve pushed past my fears with #ThisGirlCan
I am an awesome swimmer.
It’s just me, my feet and the road.
I began to see the strong woman that I could become.
Running has honestly saved my life.
Getting in the pool after a long day really pays off for both body and mind