Why We Need to Improve Fitness Inclusivity

It feels a bit weird getting back into blogging after a few weeks off, but it’s definitely well overdue. My goal this week has been to start getting into a healthy lifestyle over here – I’ve managed to get myself back to the gym and start eating right again. I feel like I’m doing pretty well, but have been getting odd moments of homesickness, and I think giving myself some routine and structure is really helpful. Whilst I’m talking health and fitness, this week’s * post is focused on something I feel super passionately about – fitness inclusivity.


But what do I mean by ‘fitness inclusivity’? Well, simply put, it’s the idea that anyone can enjoy exercise and fitness, and that everyone has the right to do so without fear of being judged. To me, fitness is all about positivity and making yourself feel good, and everyone deserves to be able to do that for themselves. Although inclusivity is without a doubt improving, and the people involved in the fitness industry are generally incredibly supportive and helpful regardless of what you look like, I believe there’s still a really long way to go when it comes to fitness brands.


Despite the body positivity movement being adopted by more and more brands, one of the biggest areas getting left behind is activewear. Other brands such as ASOS have really made leaps on the inclusivity front; by showing models’ stretch marks and ‘imperfections’, as well as having disabled models, plus-sized models, and models of different ethnicities; they’re really paving the way in representing a diverse range of people. When it comes to activewear brands, however, the progress is in many cases non-existent. Don’t get me wrong, I love these brands’ products, but when I go to buy them, I almost feel like a fraud; as though I’m not really ‘fit enough’ to be wearing them. I don’t think I’ve seen any plus-sized models, or in fact anyone that really deviates from being very obviously lean and athletic.


The sizing only accentuates this. I am a size 12, and on one of my favourite activewear sites, this makes me a large, which presumably would make someone of a size 14 an XL, which is the biggest size they stock. In the UK, the average dress size is 16. Do these brands not realise this? Or are they still stuck in the mindset that larger people cannot be fit or into exercise? Catering for a wider range of shapes and sizes is not going to hurt their brand – we all know by now that size is not the only indicator of health and fitness. In fact, being more inclusive would surely help them; what can be bad about reaching more customers, whilst also making people who don’t lie within the fitness ‘norm’ feel included and accepted.


I strongly believe that fitness is about celebrating who we are and loving our bodies, and fitness brands would be so much better off if they catered for everybody who was interested in doing something good for themselves, rather than just the elite. Because what is so unbelievable about a size 16 woman who enjoys keeping fit and wearing nice activewear? Don’t get me wrong, I love my activewear, but it’s always a bit sad/unhelpful only to see the clothing modelled on people I, and many others, will never look anything like.


*(rather short – got a case of the post blogging break writers block)

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