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.
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:
“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.
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.
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.
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.
#Fitspiration: The Instagram Fitness Gurus You Should Follow
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1. Fit For The 'Gram
Get ready to flex those thumbs and double tap like crazy beauties. The love you show me on Instagram is so RAD, however when I am not sharing my fun and sweaty life with you over at @radexperience, I am doing some double tapping of my own – drawing #Fitspiration from other sweaty brown girls around the world. So if you're looking for some muscle motivation too, then check out my 15 favorite fitness accounts.
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2. @msjeanettejenkins: Ms. Celeb Trainer & Motivator
Black Hollywood's trainer, but the world's favorite FitGirl. Jeanette Jenkins profile is packed with powerful quotes, nutrition tips, easy to follow exercises and the hottest fitness fashion from Nike (since she's an athlete for the infamous brand). I love how transparent she is in her posts, and come on, can we talk about those abs?! No wonder her Sexy Abs Cardio Sculpt video is such a hit.
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3. @massy.arias: Bilingual Workout Tips
Massiel Arias is so fit and fun that you'll have a hard time skipping your workout after peeping her posts. I love how she always plays dope music in her workout videos and the little dance at the end is my favorite. And although she left her New York roots to sweat in the good ol' California sun, her online coaching is available to us all via her website http://www.mankofit.com
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4. @twobadbodies: Double The Sweaty Fun
Jennifer Forrester and Kaisa Keranen met on the track at the University of Washington and have been training together ever since. Their Instagram videos are so fun, functional and fashion forward (those matching outfits tho) and I love how they use minimal equipment – so don't be surprised if you instantly feel the need to do a burpee after watching one. Slay ladies!
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5. @natashahastings: Catch Her If You Can
My girl Natasha Hastings account is another one that will make you want to run to the gym. This Olympic, World and U.S. National Champion has one buff bod that will also make you want to spend all your cash at Under Armour (she's a brand athlete). However on and off the track, this diva's style is really what's going to have you checking Instagram all day! Her makeup and hair?! Girl.
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6. @fitfoodiele: One Healthy Momma
Don't mess around and go on Instagram while you're ovulating or hungry because El will have you messed up. I love following this mother of two adorable boys, wife, bikini competitor, pre/post natal trainer & wellness consultant, computer engineer, group fitness instructor, healthy E-cookbook author, fitness model, blogger, gymmer and fitness motivator! Yeah – and you missed your workout because…?
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7. @koyawebb: Namaste With This Beauty
I really want to be a yogi. Like really bad, so following bendy Black girls for inspiration to reach this goal is my favorite thing to do on Instagram. My first favorite yoga social media sista is Koya. As a trainer, holistic health coach and yoga teacher get ready to have your breath taken away looking at her gorgeous pics. Couple this with her inspirational captions and you'll be whipping your mat out in no time.
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8. @yogaracheal: Kick It With Racheal
Well if you follow Koya, then chances are you probably get your #instayoga on with Racheal. They often team up and combine their strengths (pun intended) to show us what acro yoga is all about. Her online Skype lessons are perfect for those who don't have access to a studio on a regular basis, so kick it with Racheal at http://www.yogaracheal.com
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9. @spirituallyfly: Keep The Faith
My hair crush and yoga crush all wrapped in one – Faith Hunter is a global yoga instructor and philanthropist who's dedication to her practice is mesmerizing. She began her love affair with yoga in the early 90s as a way to cope as her beloved brother Michael was dying from a AIDS-related complication. Through meditation and mindfulness, Faith was able to release her fears and now shares her passion with the world.
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10. @kinkysweat: Sweat It Out With Your Kinks Out
Speaking of hair crushes, another natural hair FitGirl you should follow is Alicia Archer – the fitness pro, dancer, aerialist and model behind the IG handle @KinkySweat. Her flexible physique will make you want to install a pole right in your living room (P.S. I did) or simply stretch yourself beyond your own limits. As a Michi ambassador, you'll also enjoy seeing how she styles this popular new fitness line.
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11. @_kariooo: Check Out Kario's Caring Profile
I stumbled upon Kario's profile about a year ago and my life has been forever changed. I love the thought she puts into her captions and the creativity behind her poses will make you want to do yoga every darn day. It is clear her practice is sacred and sincere, so piggy back off her passion for the mat in order to inspire your own.
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12. @gritbybrit: A Southern Girl With True Grit
Brittani Rettig and I were connected through a mutual friend a little under a year ago, and at the time she was working as a management consultant by day and sweated her heart out as a fitness instructor by night. And since then, she has traded in her pumps to pump your muscles up at her revolutionary new fitness studio in Dallas, TX – GRIT Fitness. Her leap of faith inspires me daily so follow her like yesterday.
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13. @lajoy224: Everyone's Favorite Fitness Model
If you've picked up any of the top fitness magazines like Fitness, Women's Health, Shape etc. then you know this body and face. Lauren is a widely popular Wilhelmina Model and NYC trainer that is the epitome of both fierceness and fitness. When she is not in front of the camera, you can find Lauren pushing herself and others to the limit at Equinox and Tone House. Check her out on @lajoy224 and @chiselclub_byla
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14. @mynameisjessamyn: Size Doesn't Matter
I'll tell you what the fitness world needs more of – Jessamyn that's who. As a yoga enthusiast and self acclaimed "Fat Femme," this inspirational rockstar is a voice we all need to hear as a reminder to love our own bodies. Size doesn't matter, so if you're tired of seeing the same shape and size doing downward dog on the gram, then this is the beauty to follow.
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15. @ebonie_hoops: Bring The Fun Back To Fitness
My waist hasn't seen a hula hoop since I was a tween, however after finding Ebonie's Instagram I just might hit up Toys R Us and snag a few. The way she handles this childhood toy to the beat of R&B songs (her Boyz 2 Men video is my fav) is such a great reminder that fitness should always be fun.
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16. @ashleyjoi: Such A Joy With Ashley Joi
This Nike Running beauty is such a joy to follow, I love tagging along her sweaty journey via double taps and you will too. Her motivational quotes are always on point and whether she's sweating or not her pics will make you want to get out there and create some sweaty fun of your own.
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17. @paparoxi: Faith, Food & Fitness
Not only is this beautiful woman a fitness expert, but she's got the faith to boot. She created the #5amClub to her fellow fitness fiends to rise before the sun and contribute to their faith or fitness by journaling, prepping food or anything you never have time for. Paparoxi has created a hub of inspiration and motivation that will keep you healthy physically and spiritually.
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18. @HerSweat: Badass Women Go Hard
One of the few fitness lifestyle sites geared toward women, Her Sweat's feed is jam-packed with exercise routines, easy-to-follow healthy recipes, quotes from fitness gurus, workout playlist ideas and much more.
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19. @GetCurlyandFit: Who says you can't workout and have fab hair?
Founded by Lexi of LexiWithTheCurls.com, Curly and Fit shows women that they can workout and maintain beautiful curly hair. Lexi populates the feed with fun workout ideas that help women pursue their goal of being healthy (NOT skinny), and inspiring transformation pics that will keep anyone motivated.
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20. @HannahBronfman: Food Lover, Workout Enthusiast #HBFit
Hannah's passionate about working out and living a healthy lifestyle, and her energy is contagious. Besides sharing frame-worthy fitness pics of her and her beau in beautiful yoga poses, she includes video clips of her workout routines that makes exercise seem approachable and fun.
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21. @ChelseaLovesYoga: Yoga is just as mental as it is physical.
Chelsea's intricate yoga poses are just the beginning. She posts inspiring captions that encourage followers to live a peaceful and centered life while using her platform to give back through a yoga, literature and art camp she created for teenage girls.
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22. @ChinnyCo: Yogi On a Handstand
Famous for her yoga handstands, Chinny's toned yet curvy frame serves as the ultimate fitness motivation for her 14k plus followers. From back bends to her morning runs, she shows fans how to seamless integrate exercise routines into their everyday life.
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23. @GymHooky: No Gym? Ariel's Got You!
If you don't have a gym membership, or don't feel like venturing out, Ariel's got you covered. She offers effective home workouts, easy-to-follow nutrition tips and recipes, and regular fit challenges to help you reach your body goals.