The fun, low-intensity This Girl Can Classes aim to combat the enjoyment gap by offering a range of exercise styles including dance fitness, boxing fitness and yoga-inspired stretch – acting as a stepping stone into mainstream exercise class options, while creating an environment in which women feel confident and supported.
More than 20 major leisure centre operators and have now signed up to the classes and more than 200 instructors have been trained.
And our This Girl Can activation lead, Frances Drury, is delighted Scarlett has experienced the benefit of the classes first-hand.
“Our research has shown that truly enjoying being active leads to longer-term lifestyle changes – rather than doing it purely for body image reasons,” she said.
“There is a lot of pressure for women to look a certain way – even when they’re exercising – but This Girl Can has always challenged these conventional ideas and used joy to inspire women and prove that getting active should be fun.”
Insight provided by leisure centre operators shows that women make up 84% of group exercise visits in leisure centres, but that for those who don’t participate in group exercises, not feeling fit enough (35%) and body image concerns (33%) are the major barriers.
So for Scarlett’s instructor – Catherine Muckle, who works at Newburn Activity Centre – these classes are a great way of welcoming new participants.
“I love teaching these classes and giving women a chance to find a way to get active in a warm and welcoming space,” she said.
“Whether it’s low impact stretching or an upbeat dance class, what matters most to me is that everyone feels comfortable and finishes the class with a smile on their face.”