Women are 36 per cent less likely than men to be physically active.
That’s according to new research by the British Heart Foundation which claims this lack of physical inactivity in both sexes is likely to cause as many deaths as smoking.
And the study goes on to say a third of British people are at risk of heart disease because of a lack of exercise.
Now if you look at the date my last blog post you’ll see I’m guilty of a lack of blogging activity!
My observations would simply be that if you don’t really like exercise then it’s hardly going to be a regular part of your life (just like the “strict diet” we’ve all announced we’re going on at some stage and which usually lasts the best part of one morning).
We are told two million Brits are apparently not meeting government targets of how physically active we should be.
Government targets? Yes, apparently they do exist for fitness. (Take a look at the NHS-recommended ones here.)
The idea of the government telling us to get fit and healthy (almost Orwellian!) – once inspired me to write an article for BBC News on how MPs get fit. Do they practice what their employers preach?
Of course I’m going to come back to why it’s women who are taking significantly less exercise.
I don’t see a marked lack of females when I do my Guerrilla training. If anything the men are outnumbered, especially in the morning classes and at weekends.
So what’s happening?
After all, this report has highlighted the fact that even “active” people are at risk if they don’t do vigorous exercise.
Now while I’ve yet to meet anyone who actually enjoys doing things like star jumps and burpees – it’s stuff like that that can really make the difference – and, as many women will testify, gives them more body confidence when they hit the town or get into their bikinis!
Of course it goes beyond worrying about your appearance – Thank God – and I’d like to think we’re past the idea of exercise being unladylike or unfeminine.
Women’s sport is getting more coverage – just look at the Oxford/Cambridge boat race coverage at the weekend.
But then I’m looking more at exercise being a lifestyle thing rather than something competitive.
Adele’s gone on the record saying she hates exercise.
And speaking as somebody who heartily loathed P.E. and sports days at school, I don’t think anybody should be forced into it.
So I’m wondering – could this element of feeling one is being coerced be the reason one GP-referral programme of council-funded fitness classes was recently axed?
South Tyneside Council said only 17% of participants completed it and less than 10% became more active.
But whatever the reason, I’m pretty sure it had nothing to do with gender!