Updated: Monday, 13th July 2020 @ 9:36pm

'It starts with you': Sport campaigns empower women, says Manchester fitness guru

'It starts with you': Sport campaigns empower women, says Manchester fitness guru

| By Richard Craig

A Manchester fitness expert thinks that Women’s Sports Week is the perfect time for more women to celebrate and champion their right to participate in and benefit from sports.

A recent report by the British Heat Foundation showed that the highest levels of physical inactivity are in the North West, with nearly 70% of women in Greater Manchester not meeting the guidelines of recommended physical activity.

But Kevin Foster-Wiltshire, a Master Trainer for Reebok, believes that campaigns such as Women’s Sports Week (1-7 June) are encouraging women to make healthier changes to their lifestyle.

“Campaigns across Manchester and the UK such as This Girl Can, Women's Sport Week and more sport specific movements such as She Can Trace, allow women to feel empowered to undertake exercise, overcome barriers, and lift the lids on perceived limitations," he said.

A recent study by Sport England revealed that 75% of women would like to exercise more but are put off by what other people think.

The study discovered that many women felt judged by their physical ability or appearance, and that mothers feared people would perceive them as putting themselves before their family.

Sport England founded the This Girl Can campaign to battle these challenges.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organisation revealed the troubling projection that 64% of British women may be overweight by 2030.

The British Heart Foundation’s recent study, meanwhile, showed that 74% of men and 69% of women in Greater Manchester do not meet recommended guidelines for physical activity. 

Not meeting these guidelines can lead to obesity, stress and an unhealthy lifestyle – all of which can cause life threatening, preventable illnesses.

Last year, a group of ten charities, which includes the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Macmillan Cancer Support, said not enough progress is being made to tackle the problem of preventable death.

They called for a national plan for health improvement, led by the Prime Minister, to tackle lifestyle factors such as obesity, alcohol and smoking, which fuel rates of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

"More women need to improve their lifestyle factors such as attending a group fitness classes, eating cleaner foods and drink, and by talking and sharing about the benefits of exercise and healthy living,” said Kevin.

“This will help us to become greater role models not just for our children and for others, but for ourselves too. We can make the changes we need to turn the obesity projections around.

“And it starts with you."

Kevin Foster-Wiltshire hosts free Cardio Ultra classes in Reebok FitHub, Sporting Pro, The Peel Centre in Stockport every Tuesday between 7pm-7:45pm.

The classes incorporate cardiovascular exercise which is able to strengthen the heart and lungs, boost metabolism, burn calories, reduce stress, increase energy, promote restful sleep and promote a sense of wellbeing and more. The classes are part of Reebok's vision to make fitness, health and wellbeing truly accessible to all women and men. To attend a class, pop in-store shortly before a class begins. Click here for more.