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Women working out in exercise class

Source: JGI/Tom Grill / Getty

Usually studies tell us what we already know. And a recent study about women and fitness is no different. It indicated that British women don’t workout as much as they’d like to and that same sentiment reflects in American women as well.

Celebrity trainer Holly Perkins says that the study revealed that 75 percent of the women want to exercise more, but they’re discouraged for their fear of being judged by others. That sounds about right. We all like to pretend we’re immune to caring about what others, think, but we care what people think we look like when we’re exercising–whether its knowing how to use a machine or wondering if they can see our pants slowing falling off while we’re on the treadmill–we care.

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And because we’re women, we have feelings–those irrational feelings. Mothers, for example, feel guilt around putting themselves first, as if they’re neglecting all their other responsibilities.

“Whether she’s a stay-at-home mom, a busy executive or somewhere in the middle, these are concerns most women have about fitness,” Perkins says. “I believe this reflects their self-image, and it’s a shame that so many women live their lives short-changing themselves.”

One would think that with fitness programs catered specifically for women would make us more apt to workout, they’re not. Most fitness programs women come across neglect important parts of the average woman’s mindset, Perkins says. “Many gyms have spinning and other classes targeting women, but they lack the comprehensive aspect so many women are searching for.”

“There are plenty of women who frequent gyms, but I think the culture of most of those places are framed by a male-dominated attitude, which is more comfortable blocking out ‘gym time’ in their schedule,” says Perkins, who recently released a home-exercise system designed specifically for women called baladea, with regimens she developed to fuse fitness and wellness exercises.

“I believe a woman’s attitude craves a more holistic approach, one in which overall well-being is factored into a how-to lifestyle program.”

Here’s what Perkins says works for women’s fitness programs:

• Fun

“No pain, no gain” is definitely a man’s attitude. As women, we are not afraid of a healthy muscle burn, sweating and commitment – we’re designed to carry babies for nine months, and then deliver them, after all. However, we are much more relationship-oriented, and we thrive in positive feelings. The way to a woman’s heart in fitness is fun.

• Purpose

For men who workout, the activity is almost a purpose in itself. There is a sense of accomplishment in lifting heavy weights and “gettin’ it done.” Women want to shine; we want to look and feel like we never felt possible. We want to be in touch with who we are, and fitness synergized with overall well-being can do that.

• Steps

It’s good for anyone starting a fitness program to have a blueprint for what they’d like to achieve, and steps for improvement along the way. For those who are inexperienced, an introduction and detailed plan enables time for the mind to ease into the process. Confusion or uncertainty is a waste of energy, and implementing new workout phases allows women to maximize our effort.

• Synergy

If you think women don’t need weights, think again. Resistance band training increases your power and revs your body’s fat-burning engine. We also want to be lithe, supple and physically elegant. Yoga helps us reshape trouble zones, and something I call “flow” optimizes flexibility and beautifies posture. And, when we are done, we can enjoy a calm that reinforces our motive for inner and outer beauty, leaving us with an energizing relaxation.

About Holly Perkins

Holly Perkins is a national fitness expert and developer of baladea (www.baladea.com), a customizable fitness and wellness system for women. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), one of the most prestigious certifications in the industry. She believes that making fitness a fun lifestyle is the best way to achieve true change. As one of the nation’s leading weight-loss experts and a highly sought-after celebrity trainer, she has been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers and on national TV shows.

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