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Regular physical activity has many benefits. It can help to:

  • improve energy levels and fitness,
  • manage stress
  • alleviate depression and anxiety
  • strengthen self-esteem
  • improve mood and boost mental alertness

Remaining physically active helps to improve quality of life, reduces risk of chronic disease and weight gain, and ensures strong, healthy bones in the years to come. 

Girls make your move is a campaign by the Australian government to address the lower level of physical activity and barriers to participation faced by young women. The Campaign aims to encourage and support young women aged 12-19 to be more active.

Some of the barriers to exercise faced by young women include:

  • fear of being judged or ridiculed
  • self-conscious about how they look
  • peer pressure
  • increase time demands from study and part time work
  • emphasis on winning or achieving (not enjoyment).

Check out the Girls Make Your Move website for information on local events and special offers available to help you stay active. There are plenty of activities to try, including badminton, boot camp, circus, dance, dragon boating, paddle boarding and much more. Check out the website to find something that interests you.

The NSW Office of Sport has recently released their Her Sport Her Way strategy that aims to increase women and girl's participation in sport as players, leaders and coaches. This should result in greater visibility of women's sport, improved facilities and greater opportunities for women in leadership roles. For more information on the strategy see here.

When starting out it is important to remember

  1. find something you enjoy
  2. get active with friends who can help keep you motivated
  3. joining a team is a great way to meet new people/friends
  4. You don’t have to do organised sports, a bike ride or bush walk with family or friends is a great way to get moving
  5. learning new skills may seem like a challenge but it can be rewarding and fun

See some inspirational stories from the Sporty Sistas on the campaign website.

 

[Source: Girls Make a Move, Vic Health; DOH Women’s Health Strategy]