This Girl Can celebrates all the ways we moved during lockdown

Lockdown has seen us change the way we work, shop, eat and socialise.

When restrictions were at their tightest, lockdown encouraged people talking to their families, housemates and partners more than ever and we realised just how valuable outdoor space is.

And it also got people moving in new and inventive ways. For many, exercise provided a release from the stress of isolation/homeschooling/a blurred work-life existence.

And it’s that lifeline – that perfectly imperfect workout regime that so many people relied on to get them through the worst days of the pandemic – that This Girl Can is celebrating in its latest campaign.

The new video, called Me Again, Again, shows women of all shapes, ages and colours engaging in different activities – from new mums going on hikes to friends running up and down the fire escape stairs on their estate.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and lockdown certainly proved that we can move in the tightest of spaces and with minimal resources.

Fitness class enthusiasts will be only too familiar with trying to balance a laptop on the counter to follow a Zoom session, while yogis will relate to squeezing a mat between the bed and the wall.

Oh, and of course, it wouldn’t be a pandemic special without hand sanitiser and kids being used as weights – as well as more universal themes like periods and breastfeeding breaks.

Given the unpredictability of coronavirus, none of us can say for certain how long gyms will be back open for – so this video is a battle cry for everyone busy making the best of a difficult situation.

Interestingly, a recent survey by Sport England found that over half of women feel intimidated or judged at the gym or in fitness classes, with men dominating equipment and workout spaces being the preserve of fitter people the two issues raised.

Lockdown has gone some way towards addressing those problems; with home workouts becoming the norm and the only people we compete against being ourselves.

Outdoor hikes and runs are more about beating personal records and enjoying green spaces than they are looking at other bodies.

The survey also asked women what changes they’d like gyms to make to create more inclusive spaces for when they eventually return.

The suggestions were super simple: offers of help, less opportunity to think about body image and strategies to keep people moving through weights areas.

5 simple changes women want gyms to make to be more accessible

Over a month after gyms and leisure centres reopened, many people still haven’t returned to indoor exercise.

Here are the top five changes that women want to see sports centres make in order to be more accessible:

  • A discreet offer from staff to help with equipment
  • A code of conduct in the weights room like time limits and re-racking heavy weights after use
  • Hooks by the pool to hang towels to restrict time walking in swimming costumes
  • Women-only areas/dedicated swim time for women
  • Fewer full-length mirrors

Source: This Girl Can

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