I first found out about Active Women at the EDEN Conference 2015, where they had a promotional stand in the foyer. Active Women is an initiative funded by Sport England Activation Fund, encouraging women over the age of 22 to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle. “Fun fitness sessions” are held throughout various venues in Southend, with a range of different activities to get women active. And honestly, I’m surprised that it’s not more known about because it looks like great fun and…. IT’S FREE.

Active Women Southend Stand

Yep, Active Women is free! You can take part in Zumba, aerobics, badminton, swimming, yoga, and more! Absolutely free – no catch. You can make friends during the fitness session, and get the support and encouragement you need from the friendly Active Women tutors. Supported by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Legacy Leisure, and delivered by Active Life, Active Women truly is a great way to get fit. The focus is on feeling good, not looking good, so you are welcome to join from no fitness background at all and women of all shapes and sizes are welcome without the fear of being judged, by men and women alike, and the underlying sense of “competition” that often comes with that. It’s just a highly social group of ladies who want to have a healthier lifestyle, and have fun doing it. The timetable of activities is structured in a way that the vast majority of women should be able to fit at least one Active Women session a week into their lifestyle. There’s even a fitness session called Active Mums where you can bring along your little ones!

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Active Women Southend Times

So if you want to get fit and feel healthier (and, more importantly, have FUN doing it), Active Women may be the perfect solution for you. I know from personal experience that sometimes going to the gym is challenging for some women. Not for the gym activities that are there, but the environment itself can be challenging. All these sporty gym bodies and loud, lively music pumping in the background…. it can all feel a little aggressive, and put us under enormous pressure. In fact, research carried out by Sport England suggests that women play a lot less sport than men, with a gap of almost 10% between men and women in Essex who participate in sport. Their research has shown that 75% of females actually do want to exercise more but something is stopping them. Barriers are often emotional or financial; females either feel socially uncomfortable or cannot afford a gym membership. Active Women is designed to beat both of those major barriers. Female fitness sessions are designed to be fun, easily approachable and free. A friendly and welcoming environment for women who don’t feel as if they “belong” at a gym or sports club. Definitely worth a try if you’re looking to get active.

For more information, I encourage you to check out their website and their Facebook page.