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BW Businessworld

Breaking Barriers: Women In Fitness Sector

The takeaway is that fitness has become a highly rewarding pursuit for women as the new standard of beauty and a means to enjoying community and personal strength

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When women take their success into their own hands, there is no limit to what they can accomplish. Everyday, billions of women now know it's possible for an extraordinary woman to wield a big enough sledgehammer to break the glass ceiling and crawl through. Women are embracing more active lifestyle "strong is the new skinny" is the new beauty standard finally which offers an alignment of personal and societal aspirations, which we all know has been a historical struggle. Now "at gym" is seen as common on whatsapp status of women. Today, our most beautiful selves are also our healthiest selves. Most women want to look good…who doesn't?

They want to feel great, they want other people to see them in a certain way and appreciate the effort they put forth in training. Not all women want to be able to deadlift two times their bodyweight or be able to do 15 pull ups. On the flip side there are a good number that do want to do those things plus a great deal more. I think there's a sensitive balance between encouragement for us to realize our potential and pushing opinions on most women. We must let them decide their goals!

Fitness industry is building bridges for women to break barriers: There is a gym in Mumbai that has a Crèche facility for moms or dads who do not have help at home and need to get their kids along to the gym. We also can find many women only gyms, 24/7 gyms, Pilates and many unconventional training platform for women.

Women in India are blurring stereotypes by joining a male-dominated sport: bodybuilding. Mamota Devi Yumnam, mother of 3 is India's first woman bodybuilder to win medals at an international level. Bhumika Sharma who won Miss world body building champion ship recently, few other noteworthy names I can recollect are Shwetha Rathore, Rebitha Devi and we also have Majiziya Bhanu took the competition by storm with her unique physique wearing a hijab. Saudi boxer Halah Alhamrani, 41, is quietly leading a push to give women the right to exercise. Alhamrani has long operated a low-profile gym in Jeddah called FlagBoxing that offers fitness classes such as callisthenics, CrossFit, boxing and kickboxing. Her gym's motto? "Fight Like a Girl." Women are not shying away from climbing their way up in Bouldering gyms, Kalari, Kick-Boxing, mixed martial arts and parkour. Fitness experts have seen rise in percentage of women enrolling in fight clubs. Women between the ages 14-45 are the takers. Most are corporate professionals, housewives and mother-son duos. We have seen surge in women population participating in marathon in India.

The takeaway is that fitness has become a highly rewarding pursuit for women as the new standard of beauty and a means to enjoying community and personal strength. But in my personal opinion, we have long way to go , as we still witness women's-focused fitness marketing, using the words - "diet", "shrink", "lose", "tone", "sculpt", "calories", "detox", etc. However, rarely do you hear/see the words "stronger" and "fitter", "adding muscle", and "gaining confidence". I would love to see that paradigm shift in near future.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
fitness Woman Wellness wellness

Sucheta Pal

The author is Ambassador & Education Specialist, Zumba LLC and First Lady Awardee by Government of India (Woman Wellness)

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