Sports are just for men. Most modern women will reel at that suggestion, but many of the same women unconsciously support the prejudices behind it, praising boys for being active and girls for being thin, or joking about the men in their lives watching sport while they’re more interested in socializing or shopping. Thankfully those attitudes are now on the decline, as the success of women at the top of their sports becomes more visible. If you like the idea of getting more involved with sport, there are lots of ways that you could make it part of your life.
Why sport matters
The idea that sports are for men might sound like a harmless cliché, but it does real damage. Because they don’t think it’s feminine to be interested in sport or to look muscular, many girls drop out of their favorite physical activities when they reach puberty, with long term consequences for their health. Building up a strong, fit body later in life is harder to do but it’s still worth it in health terms – it can reduce your risk of cancer or heart disease and literally add years to your life – so if you’re ready to make a new start, it’s never too late to get active again.
One of the most popular sports with women today is tennis, partly because of the success of top female players like Venus and Serena Williams, Coco Vandeweghe and Madison Keys. There are tournaments year-round so it’s easy to watch on television and you can keep track of the rankings and latest news through sites like Stakers. Even if there’s no court in your area, it’s easy to play with just a racket and a ball, and even when there’s no-one to play with you can practice hitting the ball off a wall.
If there’s one sport traditionally seen as the ultimate masculine preserve, it’s football, but did you know that 45% of NFL audiences are in fact female? Female support for the sport is huge, and it’s not just about watching with the family, as groups of friends often make a day out of going to a game together. Although only a small number of girls actually play football in high school, that number is increasing. Better nutrition means girls are getting taller and stronger and are ready to get physical.
If team sports are not really your thing and you like the idea of doing something where your prime focus is on challenging yourself, nothing beats swimming. Competition is an option if you’re good, and watching competitions can help you to improve your technique, but any kind of swimming is good for you, whether you’re splashing around with friends or doing a few relaxing lengths in the morning before work. It will tone your body and leave you feeling great.
Sport has lots to offer women and women have lots to offer sport, so don’t let old-fashioned ideas hold you back. You deserve your share of the action.