Last updated on August 10th, 2023 at 08:58 PM
Almost half of women (45 percent) in the UK are worried about showing their body when getting active during the summer, according to new data by This Girl Can.
Fitness levels and self-esteem issues are other barriers for women considering whether to exercise over the summer, with nearly half (48 percent) reporting they are too unfit and two in five (40 percent) feeling not good enough.
The research explores the emotional and practical barriers behind women doing sport and physical activity during the summer months.
One in three of women (33 percent) are worried about being sweaty when getting active over the warmer summer period, while at least one in four have concerns about being menopausal (27 percent) or being on their period (25 percent).
As part of its bid to support women to Make Your Summer Move This Girl Can recently launched its first activewear range in partnership with F&F at Tesco.
With over three in five women (61 percent) saying wearing their favourite activewear makes exercising in the summer more enjoyable, Kate Dale, Director of Marketing at Sport England hopes the new range will make getting active more accessible to all:
“This is our reminder to women – of all shapes, sizes, ability and age – that nothing should hold us back from enjoying getting active this summer,” Kate said.
“Our new activewear range carries the powerful This Girl Can logo. We hope this empowers more women to get active and reminds them that sweat, menopause or periods shouldn’t hold them back; they absolutely can make the most of the summer.”
The adult line by This Girl Can and Tesco F&F is available in UK sizes 6-22, and the range includes ‘mini-me’ sets for girls aged 5-14 years-old. This Girl Can and Tesco hope the new launch will encourage families to continue exercising together, after discovering three-quarters of women (76 percent) enjoy getting active with their family over summer. Prices start from RRP £12, with a proportion of the proceeds from sales being invested into funding grassroots sport for women and girls via Sport England.
“Since This Girl Can was born in 2015, we’ve been helping women to battle the deep-rooted fear of judgement. While we’ve made significant strides, it’s an ongoing fight. We exist to support women in overcoming these types of emotional barriers, so they can enjoy getting active the way they deserve,” Kate said.
“From jogs with friends over a catch-up to solo strolls or family bike rides, summer is a brilliant time to reap the benefits of moving your body while enjoying the great outdoors.”
This Girl Can is a movement by Sport England to empower women and girls of all shapes, sizes and sporting abilities by showing there is no “right” way to get active. The campaign’s current phase, ‘This Girl Can With You’, focuses on closing the exercise Enjoyment Gap recently revealing 2.4 million fewer women than men find sport and exercise enjoyable.
After years battling an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise, a pandemic hobby helped Sarah, 31, Dorset, finally find enjoyment in moving her body:
“Picking up paddle boarding has changed my life,” Sarah said. “I move for my mental health. For the first time in my life, I am enjoying movement for the way it makes me feel strong and capable, rather than the number of calories that it burns.
“Before getting involved in paddle boarding, I felt like the outdoors wasn’t for me. I didn’t see bodies that looked like mine represented on social media or in adverts.”
While she has found her joy through paddle boarding, Sarah acknowledges there is a long way to go before equal opportunities are available for all women to get active.
“Despite the diverse community in paddle boarding, kit isn’t widely available in my size from most providers. I am on a mission to fight for representation and inclusive kit,” Sarah added.
Sarah is supporting This Girl Can and its goal to ensure sport and physical activity are enjoyable and accessible to all women.
To learn more about This Girl Can, visit: thisgirlcan.co.uk/makeyoursummermove