Family Fitness

Exercise and body image

Layla Bannard-Smith, Fitness Instructor

Research has identified that female body image, is one of the biggest contributing factors preventing women from being physically active. A Sport England report found that 75% of the women they surveyed wanted to take part in sport, but were inhibited by fear of being judged on their appearance and ability. While the United Nations has suggested that sport will play a leading role in the journey to equal rights for women and girls, our perceptions about body image are preventing us from doing the one thing that could empower us.

There are very few girls that I speak to who haven’t, at some stage, had down days when it comes to their self image and body confidence. Taking part in regular exercise keeps them feeling strong, and confident. I know when I don’t exercise I can struggle myself. Committing to regular exercise manages any demons that may pop up, I don’t care about the scales, I just know that exercise for me is an investment in both my physical and mental health. I’m not sure where I would be without it.

Holly & Libby.

So how do we make sure our kids feel good about themselves and stay engaged in sport and exercise in adulthood?

In our house there are some things we do which I hope supports this.

 The kids all play sports and attend clubs

 Not having magazines in the house which send unhealthy messages and create unrealistic  beliefs about body image

 Teaching the kids about food and nutrition

 No scales in the house

 Being mindful in the way we talk about the appearance of ourselves and others

 Taking part in exercise ourselves 

Will this be enough? I hope so. I look at Holly & Libby, pictured, and see the relationship they have with their families. I see them running from one club to another, taking part in SheRocks with their mums 💓 and wonder if I can bottle the confidence (I hope) that they have and hope that I can install this into my kids.

They work their socks of in class and have a giggle.

I hope that access to classes like SheRocks promotes this self confidence and wish that there was something like this when I was their age. When I was in my teens the aspiration was to look thin – the thinner the better. Today I can see a real change – the aspiration is to look strong and healthy. You will see #strongnotskinny run alongside #SheRocks. It’s something which I am 💯 committed too for myself, my children, clients and followers.

I hope that creating an environment where women of all ages and ability can enjoy exercise in a welcoming and non judgemental environment will promote physical activity and mental well-being.

Growing up, we didn’t have access to the clubs that are available now and certainly not exercise classes. I hope that our kids engaging in sport keeps them active in adulthood. Some say that they drop the clubs when they get to high school. Mine will need to cut down for sure to balance the increase in workload but I hope that a love of sport and exercise will stay with them forever.

Classes to suit everyone

Poynton fitness offers a huge range of classes, ranging from HIIT “workouts” to yoga. All of our classes can be adapted to support all levels of fitness.

Pay per class or buy in bundles.


6am – 9pm


6am – 9pm


07810 898423



Poynton Sports Club,
London Road North,
Cheshire SK12 1AG

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