Ladies Stronger Together was developed to encourage women to engage with fitness and wellbeing. Several studies proved that women reduced exercise much more frequently than comparison to their male counterparts. Many barriers were highlighted such as; child care, confidence, finance, times, expectations and unknown. The ladies Stronger was designed to reduce barrier by providing a low cost taster of a variety of fitness classes . Ultimately, the main objective was to create a support system for women and therefore create friendships!
The ladies Stronger Together program was introduced in 2018 as an 8 week block booking and has since seen a wide variety of activity classes provided to it’s members.
In 2018 the group encountered many different activities: including kettlebells, circuits, core work and tai chi. Each year since, the schemes has continues to follow an 8 week block with each week offering a different activity. Each year, our groups have seen a range of different ages and backgrounds. At the start of each program we start with some icebreakers, as everyone starts rather quiet and not all the group know each other. Therefore, the group introduces themselves and we ask the reasons for their participation. The majority of the time we saw members wanting to try fitness after not keeping active for some time. Others wanted to have a bit of time out from a busy family /work life and whilst others wished to lose weight.
After that, we discuss the layout of the sessions with the groups so they know about the different sessions they will be taking part in each week. The latest layout included:
SESSION 1: Introduction/ icebreakers
SESSION 2: Circuit Class
SESSION 3: Tai Chi
SESSION 4: Stretch and Tone
SESSION 5: Couch to 5k Introduction
SESSION 6: Box-fit
SESSION 7: Positive Mindset Session
SESSION 8: Review
The driving force behind each session is that of wellbeing. Within these sessions the topic of well-being is frequently discussed as we looked to open dialogue about how our minds react to physical exercise and the importance of taking time out in a busy day to unwind . As a results, throughout the course we ask participants to do some work with the team of life framework and were given gratitude journals to use during the week to write out what they are grateful for each day. Each session also ended on a mindful mediation to celebrate mindful Mondays.
This project has grown each year since it’s inception in 2018, with last year seeing a particularly large increase in members to the scheme:
2018/19: 15 women introduced to different fitness opportunities and create new habits.
2019/20: 17 women introduced to different fitness opportunities and create new habits.
2020/21: 45 women too part in the scheme whilst also creating a partnership with Mind Monmouthshire. This has led to many events and sign posting for members new and old.
Over this time, members have frequently given feedback relating to creating good friendships and improving both health and well being. Some have even gone on to get involved in the local park run together whilst others have became fully pledged fitness members, attending yoga and Pilates frequently.