Women’s health is an important topic that we feel should be brought into conversation more. Every woman will have different experiences with their physical and mental wellbeing, and it’s these experiences that can be shared to help other women and girls across Essex feel inspired and motivated to move more and feel confident.
Highlighting Women’s Health Month in May, remaining active whilst menstruating or facing different body changes can seem like a challenge as symptoms become a barrier for partaking in physical activity. However, movement and activity can sometimes ease these symptoms and also boost our mood!
Periods shouldn’t be a barrier, but a motivation.
One of our TGCE ambassadors, Hayley, explains how physical activity can be impacted by our monthly cycle:
“As a personal trainer, it is super important to me to educate women on their menstrual cycle and how they can train effectively throughout their menstrual cycle for best results both physically and mentally. It’s important to mention that all of us are unique and individual, and we may or experience different effects during our menstrual cycle, and this may not be the case for everybody.”
Every woman’s experiences with menstruation is different and not all advice can be used the same for each individual woman. She goes on to explain:
“If you track your cycle, you will be able to plan your training in advance to work alongside your menstrual cycle, for example, during the follicular phase of your cycle, you will be feeling your strongest and this is when you should go for heavier lifts in the gym or if you’re trying to hit personal bests. You can also use this time to really push yourself to your full potential in any other areas of training as you will find that you have the most energy during this stage.”
As well as menstruation, different health issues women and girls face today can appear to be an obstacle to physical activity, although understanding that steady movement can actually adapt our bodies and can be important for not giving up.
Another TGCE ambassador Vicky, tells her incredible story:
“I was diagnosed with Degenerative disc disease in my 20s and was told by doctors that with my condition I would never be able to run. For many years I believed this narrative, but during lockdown I started going on really long walks myself which actually led to me walking the marathon distance of 26.2 miles twice that year! Walking then led to jogging and now I run on a daily basis.”
As our bodies change throughout life and obstacles can sometimes get in our way, Vicky shows how you can push through different life barriers with determination and confidence – it’s about finding the right movement for you.
Another TGCE ambassador, Amy, found that after having a baby, it was hard to fit movement into her daily routine:
”I used to go to the gym a couple of times a week and ride my bike to work, but once baby arrived, exercise was the last thing on my mind as I was recovering from a caesarean section and looking after a newborn. Once I felt up to it I started going for walks every day to get some fresh air, gradually increasing the distance to build up my strength while baby napped in the pram.”
Taking the first step can be the hardest as pushing through different obstacles to become more active can feel like a challenge, but after this, the benefits both mentally and physically will be the striving motivator to remain active and keep activity in your routine. Together, our TGCE ambassadors can share advice and experiences to show that physical activity can make women feel empowered, confident and happy, it’s all about finding the right activity for you.
Find your active today and start moving here.
Get to know our TGCE initiative here.