The relatable reason women aren’t doing any exercise

It's a mood.

The relatable reason women aren’t doing any exercise
woman diving underwater
Women are struggling to find the time to exercise (Image: Getty Images)

It’s an oh-so-relatable trope. Sat at your desk at work, you’re feeling sluggish and consumed by brain fog.

‘I’ll go out on a run this evening,’ your inner monologue reminds you. Perhaps you even file it in your calendar as a reminder to commit.

But when it rolls around, you find yourself running out of time. It’s winter, so the evenings are short and dark, and you’re behind on your household admin. After cooking dinner, emptying your washing basket and catching up on general life tasks, you find yourself out of time. That run? It never happened.

Now, research from ASICS has unveiled that, the more women move, the better they feel. But, as ever, it’s a Catch 22 – because the number one reason that women aren’t able to do any exercise is not having enough time.

The study on the gender exercise gap found that more than 50% of women are not exercising as much as they would like to because of barriers like the cost of coaches or equipment like trainers, other commitments and time.

In fact, the least physically active groups included employed women, mothers and homemakers, while students and retired women were the most active.

Got a spare 5 minutes? Strengthen your core with these easy ab exercises

Having a strong core is fundamental for so many aspects of our everyday lives, whether you’re a hardcore fitness junkie, an athlete or someone who wakes up with back pain. Try these exercises to strengthen your abs:

  • Plank, 60 seconds
  • Side plank, 30 seconds each side
  • Bird-dog, 60 seconds
  • Leg raises, 60 seconds
  • Bridge, 60 seconds.

Shockingly, almost two-thirds of women cited motherhood as the main reason they dropped out of doing regular exercise, with outdated gendered expectations about housekeeping and caregiving also having a negative impact on access to exercise.

Age was a factor, too, as 51% of those surveyed reported either decreasing or stopping exercise completely as they aged.

Inevitably, men’s perceptions of the challenges faced by women when it comes to exercise were different.

However, many of those surveyed did acknowledge the challenges women face when it comes to exercise, reporting body insecurities, fear of harassment and fear of judgment as the top three barriers for women.

But when it came to the top impediment, only 34% of men recognised the impact that time – or a lack of it – has on exercise for many women.

It’s not all bleak, though. Endearingly, ASICS’ study also found that women are often inspired to do exercise by their friends, a trend that carries over from childhood to adulthood. Group spinning class, anyone?

Likewise, more than 80% of women endorsed health-related reasons for exercise, citing physical benefits, self-care, mental wellbeing, staying in shape, managing stress, feeling happy and enjoying sport.

Women reported that they were 67% less stressed, 52% happier, 50% more energised, 48% more confident and 80% less frustrated when they were able to access regularly.

So, if you feel like exercise is falling by the wayside, you’re not alone. Not having enough time? It’s a mood.

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