9 in 10 women over 30 scared to exercise outdoors

Nine in ten women over 30 are scared to take part in outdoor exercise, says mental health charity Mind.

The charity says that lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem causes nine in ten women aged over 30 to avoid taking part in outdoor phsical exercise such as cycling, and has launched a campaign to encourage females to overcome barriers that are potentially harmful to both their spiritual and mental wellbeing.

Specific barriers highlighted by the survey carried out by Mind, are:

    • 2 out of 3 feel conscious about their body shape when they exercise in public
    • Many doubt their own ability compared to others
    • 60% are nervous about how their body reacts to exercise – their wobbly bits, sweating, passing wind or going red
    • 2/3 feel if they joined an exercise group, other women would be unwelcoming and cliquey

Beth Murphy, head of information at Mind, commented: ” We all know that walking, cycling and even gardening are good for our mental health, however for many of us exercising in the great outdoors can be incredibly daunting, especially if already feeling low and self-confidence is at rock bottom . You can feel like the only person in the world experiencing this, but this research shows 90% of women are in the same boat”.

The Ecominds section of the Minds website contains a variety of hints, tips and online tools aimed at encouraging women to become active.

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