The mental aspects of Fear…..

My next blog is slightly shorter.

Fear is something we all face everyday, but how we deal or cope with it can be completely different. Even the most out going people can be completely different with fear.

When you have had any kind of mental health condition then fear is very paramount and can actually get in the way of something that could be very good. But most of the time the fear of rejection is what we overthink and actually stops us from doing or even asking something that we really want to do or ask.

I’m a very outgoing person but when it comes to taking the reins in asking a guy out then I just crumble as the fear stops me from doing it, due to me always being rejected in the past that I automatically have that fear ingrained in me. Or if I do get the guts to do it, it comes across as just friendly. I get a instant rejection or the guy has his own fear of some kind, could even be the same fear despite all the signs saying otherwise. We shouldn’t let fear get in the way of life but unfortunately it does.

Imagine how good things could be if we eliminated the fear we all have engrained in us. People that should be dating would be, or you may go for a job you normally may not go for! Or try something new that you normally wouldn’t have.

I recently came across this quote and it is so true. “We all have our fears but we need to put them aside and take the bull by the horns as you never know where it may lead……. “

The social media effect…..

In the past few weeks it has been released that obesity levels are rising, and I’m writing this blog following on from something that was said to me following this news event – they said to me ‘you’re obese and need to lose weight, especially in your job’.

Now, I’m not overweight by any stretch of the imagination, let alone obese. I’m a size 10-12, which is below the UK average in clothes size. (Currently standing at a size 16). I’m not saying who said this, but it has had an effect on me. When you have had to cope with depression, anxiety and panic attack’s in the past, and still get anxiety/ panic attacks under certain situations, this comment is not helpful. Not forgetting that I constantly struggle with image due to Cerebral Palsy.

I actually think I’m OK body wise all things considered. Yes, there are areas I don’t like, but that’s up to me to work on and no one else to say so. We all have body issues, but just consider how much harder I have to work on mine. I’ve been in an abusive relationship where I was constantly told I was fat, and my self confidence just completely went from me! No one knows how that makes you feel mentally when you’re constantly being belittled because of your weight.

Anyway it got me thinking – has the media and more importantly social media, affected society more to be a perfect size? Has it made people think curvy is not sexy? Models have to be a certain size, models and even fitness models are pushed to have that perfect lean thin look. Why do companies think that this is the ideal way to market fitness, not realising that the mental implications on the general public. Their potential clients. I have seen a rise in curvy fitness instructors, which I LOVE, as this shows clients that’s it’s about being fit and healthy and not being a size 8! The media have portrayed that a size 6-8 is the perfect image – that is not realistic and actually can affect people in other ways. So as an example, as a single disabled woman I have always struggled with dating.

Unfortunately, dating sites all go on that first impression, aka your looks, so you swipe either way. They don’t let you get to know someone for their personality, which is what is a fundamental part of a relationship. A relationship is not built on looks alone; but most guys in my world unfortunately, want that so called perfect image -that image the media have portrayed. What about the perfect looking man? I’m just asking an open question.

So if you don’t fit that image of the perfect woman on a dating site, like having a disability, health condition etc most guys run a mile in the opposite direction. Having a disability I don’t get asked out when I’m out and about, as I’m different to all the other girls, and yet I’m not asking for much in wanting a nice guy to actually have a relationship with. And yes disabled people can have a fully normal relationship with a person they are attracted too. Which is another thing the media have distorted. For the majority of us we are perfectly able to have a sexual relationship. What has happened to the good old fashioned way of getting to know someone? Chivalry in most men has died out. I have very rarely had guys on dates hold a door open for me, pull a chair out, walk on the outside of the path for me. Alot of ladies still like a guy to have these qualities. Unfortunately most men have given internet dating a bad rep and it’s now so much harder for us single girls to meet a nice honest guy.

So, my question is, is the rise in mental health conditions partly to do with the media portrayal of that perfect image and everyone trying to conform to it?

Everyone has that one part of there body they hate, but has to accept. Beauty is more than just the exterior, it’s about what is inside and who we are as people. But most importantly it’s about being happy with who you are as a person and loving yourself the way nature intended you to be. You were born the way you are for a reason. Keep to that and be the best you can be, be happy and you will attract the right people around you for just being yourself.

So, how do I feel about the original comment of my being obese? I’m not obese, I love the body that I have been given. It’s not perfect, but none of us are, whether you are a model or not. Trust me, there is no such thing as perfect.

EMD – ‘Feel For’ Zumba Pilot

Just over 2 years ago I was asked by Exercise Move Dance UK (EMDUK), the National governing body for dance fitness, to be one of their Ambassadors. I jumped at the chance and it was a real honour to be asked.

Last summer they asked me to take part in a pilot for their ‘feel for’ project. The project was created to engage those that would never exercise before, to come and try an inclusive class, that would suit all fitness levels. EMD asked if I would do a pilot for a seated class. The timing was coincidental, as work had agreed that I could run a seated class for them, due to some clients asking for a daytime seated class from the demos I had done for SAMs (Swindon Advocacy Movement ), and Swindon Learning Disability Forum.

A demo for a learning disability group in Swindon

Zumba was a great class to start with, as I am licensed to teach Zumba Gold – a low impact speciality of Zumba. I love teaching it, and I can do my own choreography which was important to me, as it meant I could change it to meet the classes needs. At the start of the 12 weeks, it was quiet and took a few weeks to build up. But after advertising it on some local free for sale sites on Facebook, talking to support workers to spread the word and also with our local Be Active (Mind ) project coming along, the word spread and numbers increased. I was getting a good set of regulars. There aren’t many classes where people with either a physical or learning disability feel comfortable going to, with an instructor that truly understands their needs, and where they are treated just the same as everyone else. They do not want a slow style class. They want an upbeat class that’s the same speed as those that are able bodied and non-restrictive. There’s a misconception that disabled people cannot do fast or upbeat choreography. Actually I’m going to squash that, the more time disabled people have to think about a move, the more they can’t do it. The less time they have to think, the better, as they find the move easier and more effective. I’m more likely to fall over on a slower song as my brain has more time to think so I over think the move then face plant the floor. The quicker the move, the more seamlessly I do it and therefore stay on my feet. This is a thing that not all instructors realise. And this is something Beto, ( Zumba Creator), picked up when I danced on stage with him.

On stage with Beto

On stage with Beto

I had people with various conditions come to my class including ataxia (which is a form of CP), Cerebral Palsy, marfans, Parkinson’s, Down’s syndrome, complex learning disabilities, autism, to those with limbs missing. After a month, I could see a vast improvement in their conditions. Their co-ordination was better, and were really enjoying the class. As time went on, I was seeing an improvement in those with complex learning disabilities and they were starting to copy me. This is an amazing feeling when someone who hardly speaks, and is very slow at processing does what you do! They communicate how much they like the class by hugging you – that is such a special feeling. One even got up on stage every week and did there own dance. This is really important to me as it’s them gaining confidence, and having the ability to do a dance in-front of the class. It is also giving them a chance to have that opportunity which they wouldn’t normally be given. I also had various wheelchair users come to class. One started slimming world before coming to my class, struggled to lose weight before, came to my class and within 2 weeks had lost 3lbs, this is a lot for a wheelchair user as they do not burn the same amount of energy as those who are not in a wheelchair.

EMD – Feel for Zumba Class

The ‘feel for’ project was a success, and the class has continued growing. I’m mixing the class up now with some strength and conditioning to help them to be stronger and continue to improve.

There is no reason to discount those that have disabilities. Treat them with respect and think outside the box and the rewards you’ll feel will be huge.

You can gain discount on insurance (which includes equipment cover, if you cannot work due to injury and discounted PPL) and courses with EMD with my discount code SJAMES.

For more information about me, please go to www.inclusfit.co.uk

Cerebral Palsy – What is it?

March is Cerebral Palsy awareness month. You may ask what is cerebral Palsy or CP as I refer to it.

CP is a neurological condition that either happens at birth or shortly after.

It consists of a few brain disorders that affect movement and posture which in turn causes limitation to activity. It is non progressive and affects every individual differently from mild to severe.

CP is a umbrella term that includes a wide range of movement dysfunction. CP can be classified by the following attributes:

• movement – muscle tone, is often increased or decreased along with type of movement. Eg ataxia.

• Severity of the disability. No 2 people will be affected in the same way.

• Anatomical – so parts of the body that are affected. Eg Hemiplegia, Diplegia, quadriplegia.

So in basic terms, it affects the wiring of the nervous system, meaning the signals sent to the body get mixed up and so the muscles don’t do what they are being told to do. That is the simplest way of explaining it.

And to the contrary to what some people think, it is a physical disability. Some individuals may have an additional learning disability / disabilities on top, but not everyone with CP does.

I only have CP that affects me physically. How did I get this disability?

I was born able bodied, at 9 weeks old, I had a near miss cot death – mum checked on my brother for a minute, came back and I was blue. She resuscitated me and I was rushed in to hospital. I was in a coma and then was diagnosed with CP, due to the lack of oxygen to my brain when I stopped breathing. Yes, I technically died and now on my second chance of life.

I am very lucky that it doesn’t effect me too severely. I have a unique form of spastic diplegia that effects both sides of my body. I will go in to the main forms of CP later on but My right leg and left arm are affected along with a slight speech impediment which has vastly improved doing the job I am doing.

There are a few main types of CP. I’m not going to go into all of them or in to too much detail or I could be here all day. But they are:

Spastic Hemiplegia

Hemiplegia affects one side of the body. Will present in the same way as someone who has had a stroke. Depending on what side of the brain it affects, will determine what side of the body it will affect. Basically if it affects the left side of the brain, the right side of the body will be affected. So both the right arm and leg.

Spastic Quadriplegia

This affects all 4 limbs and has an increased muscle tone in both arms and legs.

Can affect the posture including how the head sits and the movement of the head too.

Spastic Diplegia

This refers to the leg spasticity and often to some degree effect the hand and /or arm. There is an increase in muscle tone in the leg muscles and the individual may have issues with co-ordination and strength. This can present asymmetrically too.

Ataxic CP

Ataxia is defined as failure of muscle co-ordination in particular irregular muscle action. This is sometimes sits alongside spastic Diplegia.

Ataxia is the result of a dysfunction of the cerebellum.

Individuals with CP will often have spasms and this will be different in everyone. For instance I will get spasms with sudden loud noises, being snuck up on especially from behind. It will cause the body to jolt. I will do so just once or twice but again this is different to the person with CP.

This current spell of cold weather has also affected those with CP. Cold weather stiffens the muscles and cause pain. It can cause more fatigue, struggling to get up and moving in the mornings, as well as making walking harder.

Exercise and CP go hand in hand, especially strength and conditioning training. I have personally seen improvement in my own cp with exercise. Better balance, I hardly face plant the floor any more unless I’m really concentrating on one thing or someone startles me or knocks me. I have become stronger and more flexible.

CP stiffens the muscles up and what exercise does is that it helps loosen them.

Exercise will benefit those with CP differently and the type of exercise will be different to the individual. So to me weight and body weight training is what suits me along with dance fitness! Zumba, Clubbercise and a dance – stretching class in the form of VeraFlow.

Some find yoga or Pilates is very beneficial, where others find swimming or horse riding, beneficial.

You also do not even need to leave the house to exercise especially with the amount you can see on social media, YouTube and even paid subscribed websites.

With Rhys - a client with Left side Hemiplegia

Those with CP I have worked with in the gym have gone on to prove exercise Is beneficial for their disability. I have been bought to tears watching them do movements medical professionals said they would never do. I can tell you there are no words to describe how that feels as a trainer, to see you helped that person achieve that. Also having CP myself they can relate to me more as I have been through similar experiences to them, but I can also say if I can do it, you can!

I always see the ability in all my clients and everyone out there needs to do the same. Disability often shows you are stronger, achieve more and always proving people wrong when they say ‘oh you can’t do that because you have a disability’.

People with disabilities are exactly the same as those who are able, same emotions, feelings. They want to fall in love & settle down and want to be social and do everyday activities.

It’s just the media have portrayed an image conscious world where if you don’t look perfect you don’t fit in, or you can’t fall in love with someone that doesn’t look perfect! Which is the completely wrong message to send out.

Inclusfit Review of 2017 

What a year 2017 has been for me ….. and my God has it whizzed by…… 
It started off with a bang. Great Clubbercise and Zumba classes, and I became the first disabled fitness presenter. I was working for seated Sosa at the time and loved presenting at IFS, MOVE IT and Ribby Hall (project mayhem weekender)! I will always be thankful to Katy for giving me that opportunity. 

Presenting at Project Mayhem Ribby Hall

Next was Elevate with Instructability. I always love doing stuff for them as I wouldn’t be where I am today with out them. I loved being up with my two Instructability guys, Gaz and Paul. Two fab friends I have met through Instructability. 

With Gaz and Paul

While being made redundant from one job, I have had time to concentrated on my disability sports coach role, which I love. Love the clients and being able to enhance their lives through the power of fitness and sport. 
I passed my Level 1 Boccia coaching qualification, which was very interesting, and I have started to work on the trampoline sessions we have. Even though I cannot stand up and bounce myself, I have come a long way in learning how to bounce sat down, on my back and on my hands and knees. This means I still can rebound the clients at work that need rebounding. It has been beneficial for me in more ways than I thought. The main one being a good core workout and the other being that I have lost 3kg in weight since I started on the sessions. 
My gym clients have gone from strength to strength, and smashing their targets. I have been very fortunate to have another instructor, also called Sam, start working with me on the sessions. We not only have the same outlook on working with the clients, but we get on like a house on fire too. Sam has also been helping me work with equipment that I thought to be impossible due to my own disabilities.

Working with disabled clients of any age is challenging, but hugely rewarding. It’s all about them gaining your trust and you respecting their wishes…. 

With one of my gym clients….

I had the opportunity to work with my mentor Mel Bridger for a year, Not only working with her but she helped me rebrand my business and advised me on how to increase my classes. Since working with her, my classes have doubled. I’m busier than ever. Mel brought out her own fitness routine and I was lucky enough to be on the first ever Beatz training course. Now I’m trying to work out where I can fit it into my already hectic timetable. I would also hope to work with Mel again soon in some way or another. 

Mel and myself on the first ever Beatz training course

What an amazing weekend I had in July (in London). The Zumba Academy was so much fun, but as always the highlight was seeing Beto, the guy I have admired for so long and still do. I was lucky enough to meet Steve Boadt – a Zumba ZES trainer – he is such an amazing guy! To top off an amazing weekend, I was on stage in the evening at the after party doing a seated routine. I’m still smiling at having the honour – even more so when I saw Beto standing at the side of the stage and so close to me. The Zumba Academy is my ‘me time’ and I love going. It’s where I de-stress and let my hair down! Such great company this year – thank you ladies!! Having a drink with Beto – one word – priceless. Such a shame there isn’t going to be one in 2018 in the U.K. 

A few memories from the Zumba academy. Top left with Steve Boadt, top right – me on stage, bottom left – with the ladies – Jade, Ann-Marie & Rachel, bottom right with the main man himself Beto 💕
 
Following on from the Zumba theme, I was taken on to do my 3rd term as a ZCOM volunteer for Zumba which I love doing. Zumba is a big passion of mine and I love it, I have always said I do not know where I would be today without it. 
I continue to run my Zumba Gold SEN classes in schools, and the kids absolutely love it. Really looking forward to joining them at a dance festival in 2018 doing Zumba! Cannot wait. 

On stage at the Zumba academy with my fellow ZCOM volunteers

Now for the awards that I was very lucky to be nominated and shortlisted for. In the Project Mayhem Community Fitness Awards, I was nominated and short listed in the ‘Equality & Diversity Instructor’ category, and the ‘Unsung Hero’ award. For the first time, a disabled fitness presenter was shortlisted in ‘Presenter of the Year’. Even though I did not win, it is a huge honour for me to be nominated and secondly shortlisted. Especially the Presenter of the Year where there is a massive shortage of disabled fitness presenters. Why should I have different dreams to everyone else, just because I have a disability?
A new venture for me this year was teaching Veraflow, and I have finally found my teaching style with it, and I love it. It has certainly helped with my cerebral palsy, and my ladies are feeling the benefits too. Some with back and knee issues and they have all felt a difference. 
I continue to support Clubbercise instructors on how to engage disabled clients in their classes, and hope to do more with them in 2018.

I did a Clubbathon earlier in the year for work to raise money for the dogs trust, thank you to everyone that came and for raising £180 for them. 

Clubbathon for dogs trust.

As a disability fitness specialist I am available to all types of fitness businesses, and help you be more inclusive, help redesign gym layouts with disabled clients in mind, and even help group fitness brands to make their brand / classes fully inclusive. I am now openly looking for more businesses to work with. So please get in-touch if I can help.
As well as continuing to be an EMD Ambassador (Exercise, Move, Dance), and currently taking part in a ‘Feel For’ project with them, I have also been taken on as an ‘Just Strong’ Ambassador. The brands ethos is fitness clothing for all, regardless of size, ability etc., well I fit in with the brands ethos. 
I have been working on something this year which I am hoping to reveal in 2018. Something I should have done a while ago but never had the confidence to do but now do. But you will have to wait and see what that will be…..
Thank you to everyone that has supported me this past year – you know who you are – not just professionally, but personally too. I have to thank my amazing managers at work. I am so lucky to have such good managers and fellow coaches that are also friends too. Thank you for continuing to believe in me …. and my knowledge…..
To all my ladies that attend my classes – thank you. Without you I would not be able to do a job I love so much. 

My Zumba ladies

Here is to 2018. Always dream big and don’t be afraid to make those dreams a reality.

Yes – ignore those demons and just get on and jump through the fear…
 

#ZumbaLove – The Zumba Effect

Zumba has become one of the biggest fitness names in the world right now. It certainly has the marmite effect – You will either love it or hate it. For many it is a release, where they can forget what is going on in their life & be happy for that hour. 

Beto Perez came up with Zumba when he forgot his music tape in his aerobics class over 11 years ago and just used the tape he had in his car. He created Zumba so anyone can do it, and this is so true. They have instructors from teenagers up to those in there 90s, disabled instructors and those who never thought they ever teach a fitness class but got the Zumba bug by attending classes as a participant.

It has changed so many lives, from giving people hope in losing weight, boosting confidence, overcoming health / mental conditions, giving them a purpose in life and giving many a career they love. 

I got in to Zumba as I saw a TV interview with Beto when it first came to the UK and instantly I wanted to try it. As someone with a physical disability I found it was the first fitness class I was able to do. I could easily adapt it. I was overweight and through attending a class, I started to lose weight. I loved it & I quite literally forgot everything that was going on in my life. I loved the music and for the first time in years I started to get the real me back. Some of my friends did not understand why I loved it & why it became a big part of my life. It was only when I walked away from an abusive relationship that it clicked and they worked out why. I wanted to do the instructor training but my ex would not let me. Saying I couldn’t do it as I was disabled. 

At this point, when I had walked, I started to rebuild my life. I had lost half a stone in weight with a fair amount to go, was still lacking confidence despite me slowly gaining some! I Still was depressed and having panic attacks. Through the break up, I went to many more classes and over time I got the real me back. I had the support from my closest friends, some I had met in a Zumba class. Some had been through what I was going through, and we still best of friends today 6.5 years on…..

My weight loss journey

In all I lost over 2 stone, and I was trying to find a job that truly suited me. After I cracked a bone in my shoulder joint, I got in the gym & worked with a PT friend who got me doing things the physio could not do. After a year of physio, hydrotherapy and the gym 3/4 times a week, my shoulder is 90% back to normal. I was told I should do it as a job and that I could inspire so many people mainly those with disabilities. 

I found a level 2 gym course through Instructability, a funded programme to train up disabled people to become gym instructors. I applied got on & completed my level 2 gym instructor & my level 3 exercise & disability qualifications. 

With my InstructAbility group

I was told by my tutors to get myself booked on the Zumba instructor training. Which I did. Loved it and soon after got my first class. 3 years later I’m still teaching that class and love it. It is my favourite class as i not only Love the ladies but it’s the 1 class I am attached too. I have built it up from nothing to a popular class. I also go into schools and teach children aged 4-18 with physical or learning disabilities across all schools in my area. 

I have gone on to work for my local council & for the past 3.5 years I have worked on the exercise referral gym sessions, and for the last 2 years I have been the lead instructor on the inclusion teams gym sessions for adults with physical & learning disabilities. I am also lead coach on other sports sessions they run. 

Many people will never get the fun, happiness that people feel when they do Zumba. It’s a feeling, a connection not to just dance or the music but with the people you meet through it. 

My Zumba friends, classes & kids I teach

Zumba have provided me with many opportunities including dancing on stage with Beto, to being a ZCOM volunteer (Zumba community council!) which I love. I love all the events I go too and love the academies every July when Beto comes to the UK. I still yet to and would love a session at the Zumba Convention on the power of Zumba with disabled clients and how to adapt. Yes, everyone knows I love Beto (including Beto himself!) but I love him for many reasons, yes he is good looking, has the body etc etc but he is the kindest, politest, most humble down to earth and thoughtful guy you will ever meet. Not only has he created something I can do, but given me hope, confidence, friendships and most of all a career I love, which has gone on to provide many opportunities outside from Zumba. I have become the first UK disabled fitness presenter & I have worked with some fab, amazing people. This I cannot thank him enough for. If it wasn’t for me watching that interview with him & trying a class I have no idea what I be doing now…

My memories of the many times I met Beto 

Next time you think of saying to someone why do you love Zumba so much…. Take a step back and think of what you love doing and imagine them saying that to you…… For many Zumba Is their therapy like it was for me.

 I have done a lot of thinking and reflecting this past week or so and I have realised how important Zumba is in my life. It has connected with my heart and that cannot be broken. 

Zumba – the dance, the music is a feeling and connection that some people get and when they do its magical. 

So Thank you Beto for creating your ‘baby’ and giving so many people worldwide so much enjoyment out of it. 

Launching the #ZumbaLove campaign with my fellow UK ZCOM Volunteers at this years UK Academy. 

To find a Zumba class near you, please go to Zumba.com 

Fitness clothing for all? 

In today’s media dominant society there always has been a pressure for us all to look a certain way. Young girls are being fed that they need to be a certain size to be accepted or just fit in. But out of the population how many of us fit in to this viewpoint bought on just by the media. They have and will continue to airbrush and photoshop pictures to make this ideal continue to be the norm in their eyes. Most woman are over a size 12. In fact, a size 14/16 is the average size in the UK.
So with this In mind why do fitness companies think they have to use this media ideal image and use a size 6/8 woman with no curves that would even look good in a bin bag!

Most woman that work out are a size 16+ but why is fitness clothing designed for those that are under a size 12?

  

Just one example of bright clothing going up to the UK average size UK 14/16. 

I am a curvy size 12, I am a fitness presenter, trainer and instructor and I can struggle to find clothes to fit me, leggings that stay up, tops that are long enough and stay long during the workout and not ride up to cover my stomach which most woman are paranoid about and want to cover, me being one. Having nice pretty sports bras for us ladies who are top heavy and where we don’t have to wear 2, due to the pretty ones not being supportive enough for us ladies who have a cleavage and who do not want 2 black eyes at the end of the workout! And us instructors who teach most nights of the week who need to strap them in for this and also so we do not suffer from back pain. 

  Me with a few of my class participants who struggle to find bright clothing to fit them. But they can find bright trainers!

Most of my class participants are of a certain size which I love – they are working out to achieve their goals whatever they are. But they all have asked me the same question. ‘Where can we buy funky cheap bright fitness clothing from?’ and this is true. Most leggings are over £30 and if you are a larger lady who is losing weight quite quickly why would you want to spend £30+ on a pair of leggings you will wear once maybe twice a week for about a month maybe 2 max as they constantly losing weight! Most plus sizing fitness wear is black or grey. Why do these companies think everyone wants to wear black or grey?! I don’t, but it is not fair that a size 12 can buy all the coloursunder the sun but if you are a size 16/18 upwards you have a choice of 2 colours!! This is not fair and shows that these companies do not think of the average fitness participant who will be a curvy larger size but they cater for the stick thin gym bunnies instead as this fits in with the ideal media norm discussed above. 

If fitness wear companies thought of the average gym user and these days, the average fitness instructor who is no longer a stick thin bean pole, but instead a healthy curvy role model then they will design clothes for this high percentage of fitness participant. Also have the normal curvy instructors model them to inspire and encourage the youth and the young adults of today of what is a healthy look. 

  3 curvy fitness instructors on stage at a zumbathon

Again another group that these companies do not think about is the disabled client or in fact instructor. How can disabled people put tight stick to your leggings on? May not want baggy harem pants due to balance or wheel chair reasons and as I, do struggle to put sports bras on and get them done up! The same can be said for trainers. Again why don’t these companies get feedback or get disabled instructors and participants to help design ranges that are easier for them to put on and wear! 

There is also a big rise in the number of older people exercising as well as instructing and again these are often curvy and who would like to look the part whilst teaching or taking part in classes yet there are no ranges for this age group! 

I have found through my group exercise classes, those ladies that are older, larger or have a condition – be it disability or other health condition they are far more comfortable in their own skin, are bold, sassy, sexy and can move especially when you put a feather boa in their hands asking them to unleash their inner divas. That’s when the younger non curvy participants often run a mile as they are not comfy in ‘unleashing their inner divas’. 

The fitness industry is changing rapidly but the clothing is being left behind as the range of participants is changing. If you’re a larger curvy lady, why do you want to wear baggy black or grey t shirts and where their kids clothing becomes the preferred preference as it’s more comfortable to wear.