Sport Ireland, in partnership with Healthy Ireland, has launched ‘It’s My Time’, a new campaign which aims to encourage women over 40 to increase their activity levels through exercise and sport.
Repeated studies, including Sport Ireland’s Irish Sport Monitor, have shown that women over 40, particularly those from disadvantaged communities, are among the least likely to be physically active or play sport.
Although regular exercise has been found to prevent and alleviate menopause-related symptoms, less than one in three Irish women over the age of 40 think they are meeting World Health Organization guidelines for menopause. physical activity 30 minutes of exercise five times a week.
Nationally representative research by Sport Ireland has highlighted the significant and varied time demands of women in their 40s, 50s and 60s, including work, travel, childcare, family commitments and household management. As a result, 41% don’t have time and nearly two-thirds are often too tired to exercise.
The campaign, “It’s My Time”, hopes to encourage women to prioritize their well-being by becoming more physically active on their own terms. The campaign will run across digital, video on demand and social media and is supported by various National Sport Governing Bodies and the National Network of Local Sport Partnerships.
Women interested in increasing their activity level can log onto https://www.sportireland.ie/itsmytime to access specially commissioned exercise videos covering; fitness, flexibility, strength and balance, an educational series covering; muscle health, bone health, cardiovascular health, sleep health, mental health, wellness and nutrition as well as easy-to-follow and convenient healthy recipes.
The campaign has been championed by Sport Ireland Chief Executive Una May, Sport Ireland Women in Sport Lead Nora Stapleton and also backed by the Department of Health’s Women’s Health Task Force and Healthy Ireland. Catherine Martin, Minister for Sport, Jack Chambers, Minister of State for Sport, and Frank Feighan Minister of State for the Ministry of Health also renewed their support for the campaign.
Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht Jack Chambers said: “Increasing the participation of women in sport and closing the participation gap between men and women is a key priority for the Government. I welcome the ‘It’s My Time’ initiative which will help encourage women who feel they don’t have time in their busy lives to exercise regularly. This government will continue to prioritize groups that are underrepresented in sport and physical activity to reap the many benefits that sport and exercise bring. This campaign can play a valuable role in achieving our goals for women in sport.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, welcomed the announcement, saying: “Research has consistently shown that women are among those who are the less likely to prioritize themselves, consistently putting others first. The It’s My Time campaign is to be warmly welcomed as it will help women prioritize their time to exercise and incorporate it into their regular routine, enabling them to reap all the benefits that this brings. Individuals, families and communities will benefit.
Minister of State for the Department of Health, Frank Feighan, said: ‘Research has shown that engaging in physical activity has significant benefits for mental and physical health and can prevent frailty as we age. . Increasing the physical activity levels of the population is therefore a priority under the National Physical Activity Plan, the National Sports Policy and the Women’s Health Action Plan. To achieve this goal, we need to reach out to those who face barriers to being active enough, including women over 40, many of whom have significant time constraints. I am therefore very happy to welcome this new campaign, supported by the Women’s Health Taskforce, the Women’s Health Fund and Healthy Ireland.
Sport Ireland CEO Una May added: “I know firsthand how difficult it can be for busy women to find time in their day for sport or physical activity and I am delighted that Sport Ireland launches It’s My Time initiative. This campaign reinforces the vital message that sport and physical activity are so important to our health, both mental and physical, and to our well-being. We are all too aware that women in this age group are underrepresented when it comes to sport and physical activity and this campaign will encourage women to incorporate exercise into their lifestyle. a way that suits them.
Director of Nursing Rachel Kenna also said: “Physical activity has many benefits for mental and physical health and wellbeing, but barriers to activity often result from inequalities, including gender. , age, disability, caregiver status, chronic illness, minority status and life. with disadvantage. Since 2019, the Women’s Health Taskforce has been working to listen to women as experts by experience in health and wellness. The women described the ages of 40 to 60 as a time of great change and uncertainty, with time pressures associated with juggling work, family and family responsibilities. We know that women often struggle to make time for themselves, prioritize their own health, and be physically active. For many women in this age group, menopause adds additional uncertainty; it can be a daunting experience, resulting in a range of symptoms that can be difficult, including trouble sleeping, weight gain, headaches and fatigue. However, we know that staying active, through forms of movement that you enjoy, can be key to managing these symptoms and feeling in control of your well-being. With this in mind, the Women’s Health Taskforce supported the “It’s My Time” initiative to encourage women in their 40s, 50s and 60s to make time for themselves and prioritize physical activity in their daily routine.
I want to thank Sport Ireland for raising awareness about the importance of being active and caring about your own health and wellbeing, and that of those around us.