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Happy International Women's Day 2020

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Happy International Women’s Day!

Here’s to all of our incredible members. The powerlifters, the runners, and the yogis. The boxers, the cyclists and the ‘just gym goers’. This day is for you. A day to celebrate and champion that women can (and should) look, workout and most importantly be whatever they want to be.

Together with This Girl Can, an organisation dedicated to increasing the number of girls and women in sport, we’re celebrating women everywhere by empowering them to feel good in their own skin. 

Lisa O’Keefe, Director of Insight at Sport England said: Our research showed that 75% of women wanted to be more active but there were a number of barriers preventing them from doing so. From speaking to women, we found that many of these barriers were linked by one theme - a fear of judgment. Our long-term goal with This Girl Can is to build women’s confidence to overcome these fears so they can be more active no matter their level of ability”.

In addition to this, a report by Dove found that British women have the 2nd lowest self-esteem in the world [1]. And we want to change that. But we can’t do it alone.

That is why our #ShareTheConfidence campaign was born. #ShareTheConfidence asks women everywhere to share all the ways they feel confident. It could be reflecting on where you’ve come and what you’ve achieved, to nailing your morning routine and eating well, it could even be wearing your favourite lipstick.

We asked some of our inspiring female members to share what makes them feel confident. Here’s what they had to say.

Is there nothing a new pair of yoga pants can’t fix? Well, research suggests that rocking your favourite workout outfit can not only make you feel better but make your workout better too.

Cognitive Psychologists describe this as ‘Enclothed Cognition’ which relates to the influence clothes have on the wearer’s psychological perceptions, including how confident we feel and how we perform [2].

In the simplest terms, they believe that when you look the part and feel good, you are more confident in your abilities, which can improve focus, motivation... and in turn, performance in the gym!

We’ve all been there. The plateau. The dip in motivation. It feels like you’re so far away from your end goal, while everyone else is smashing it around you.

But what you’re forgetting when you’re in that mindset, is just how far you’ve already come. The early morning workouts. The PBs. And the goals you’ve already checked off your list.

Don’t worry if this one applies to you. We’re pretty sure we’ve all been guilty of overlooking our successes at some point in our lives. But those successes are what motivates us to keep pushing forward.

So, we encourage you to focus on your own journey, and when it starts to get tough, look back at how far you’ve come since you first started. Champion everything you’ve accomplished so far rather than being overwhelmed by your future goals. Be your inner cheerleader to keep pushing forward. And always remember, don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter one hundred.

Irina shares: “When I listen to stories of women who have overcome physical and mental barriers to go on to become personal trainers, Olympic champions, CEOs...it truly puts my own life into perspective, and I am able to break down my own barriers to achieve what I didn't assume was possible at my level.”

Self-belief is considered to be one of the most influential motivators of our behaviour in everyday life [3].

The power of self-belief is hard to ignore. It’s not always easy to master, and trust us when we say, no one has it all of the time. But to achieve your goals, you truly have to believe you can achieve them.

The saying mind over matter is true when it comes to self-belief. It all stems from your mindset, and one small switch can make a huge impact on your outlook of life’s challenges.

So, we encourage you to have faith in your ability, and instead of doubting yourself, believe that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Did you know that music can improve your workout? Research has shown that listening to music while exercising can increase your stamina, while also boosting your mood [4].

Studies have found that listening to music synchronised with your exercise can improve athletic performance by increasing distance travelled, improving pace or repetitions completed [5,6].

Why not make yourself a feel-good power playlist for next time you’re in the gym? Top tips would be to select music with a strong, steady beat or to opt for music at a fast pace. You can also find pre-made playlists that are grouped by beats per minute, this can be helpful if you’re running or cycling and want to keep at a steady pace.

Nadine shares: When I have a positive mindset, I have self-belief and I know I can work harder, lift heavier, reach that goal or do anything in life .... I aim for it, go for it, and always trust in myself.”

It’s time to find a gym buddy! Not only does working out with a friend help to boost your confidence, research has shown that it can also have a positive impact on your motivation and workout intensity [7].

Whether it’s to get your daily dose of friendly competition, or just some accountability to stick to your workout regime. We think working out with a buddy is a win, win!

Amanda Shares: “This can be anything from putting up shelves, attending a new workout class or travelling alone. It very important to me, as it gives me the confidence to be independent and create my own happiness on my own terms and learn/experience new things.”

Help us to #ShareTheConfidence

International Women’s Day is just the starting point. Women deserve support and encouragement all year round. From working out in your favourite gym clothes, to getting a good night’s sleep, tell us how you feel confident on social media using the hashtag #ShareTheConfidence.

There’s no ‘right’ way to confidence. But sharing the little things that make you feel like a champion just might inspire someone to take the first step in their journey, whatever that may be.

This Girl Can

This Girl Can, funded by the National Lottery, was created in response to the Sports England Active Lives Survey [8], which found 1.75 million fewer women were exercising regularly than men.

Since starting, 3.5 million women have become involved in a sport or physical activity as a result of the This Girl Can campaign [8].

Lisa O’Keefe, Director of Insight at Sport England said: “Many women fear they won’t be good enough, to join a class, club or gym, with research showing women are more likely to think that others have more ability than them, and underestimate their own abilities. [Therefore] it's more important than ever for the fitness industry and media to feature realistic and diverse imagery of women getting active – and that includes all levels of capabilities.”

Follow #ThisGirlCan for inspiration and support.

 

References

  1. Source: Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report 2016'

  2. Adam, H. & Galinsky, A. (2012) Enclothed cognition. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, (4). pp. 918 – 925.

  3. National Research Council (1994) Learning, Remembering, Believing: Enhancing Human Performance. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

  4. Karageorghis, C.I., & Priest, D.L. (2012). Music in the Exercise Domain: A Review and Synthesis. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 5, (1). pp. 67 - 84.

  5. Karageorghis, C.I., Priest, D.L., Williams, L.S., Hirani, R.M., Lannon, K.M., & Bates, B.J. (2010). Ergogenic and psychological effects of synchronous music during circuit-type

    exercise. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11, (6). pp. 551 - 559.

  6. Judy Edworthy & Hannah Waring (2006) The effects of music tempo and loudness level on treadmill exercise. Ergonomics, 49, (15). pp. 1597 - 1610.

  7. Plante, T., Madden, M., Mann, S., Lee, G., Hardesty, A., Gable, N., Terry, A. & Kaplow, G. (2010) Effects of perceived fitness level of exercise partner on intensity of exertion.

    Journal of social sciences, 6, (1). pp. 50 – 54.

  8. https://sportengland-production-files.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/2020-01/Campaign-Summary.pdf?Yu_jmNiqPxjL8IlJC0EqvKXjJ_GOFpfx

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