LIMERICK student Lauren Guilfoyle is the ambassador for the new 20x20 campaign ‘No Proving. Just Moving’.
“If we can get one more person out moving that would be of benefit,” Lauren Guilfoyle told the Limerick Leader of the new showcase for girls and women of the benefits of physical activity.
“The aim of this current campaign is to get women of all ages, backgrounds and history, out and active as opposed to specially targeting sporting events and athletes. Given my background as a physio that’s where I came into this campaign - to try encourage women to become more active as opposed to just looking at organised sport side of things,” explains Guilfoyle.
The Clare native is a fully qualified physio with the Ballybrown senior hurlers and Tipperary minor hurlers among her roles in recent seasons. Currently Lauren is studying in UL for a Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology.
20x20 is a national movement to champion girls and women in sport and nearing two years since it’s launch.
“I was always a supporter of the initiative from the get go but it was only this campaign that I got on board in terms of being an ambassador. It was very much focused on attendance, media coverage but given the current global climate there is more of a focus on the general participation which is brilliant because there is definitely room for improvement in terms of getting more women out and about and active and not even older women but young girls because I think the motto behind this campaign is just No Proving - Just Moving which indicates that you don’t need to go and be competitive and join a team or play a competitive sport,” outlined Guilfoyle.
“It’s about getting out and being active and not having to join a class or a team - just about getting out and moving.”
The ‘No Proving. Just Moving’ campaign was born out of the Covid-19 lockdown.
“It was the perfect opportunity because there was no collective sporting facilities open so it really was about yourself. Personally I took to running over lockdown and getting out on the road. Personally I found the different dynamic helpful and I would imagine around the country as well - we weren’t about to go anywhere but being able to get out of the house and go for a walk was positive. The environment created by lockdown helped and now it’s about capitalising on that.”
She added: They say habits are formed after three weeks but I know even myself now that I can go places maybe we are putting exercise on the back foot”.
“There are so many benefits to moving and exercise - not even all physical but from a mental perspective - hopefully people have build a relationship and understanding as to how beneficial it can be and that they would miss those benefits if they return to their previous life.”
She explains: “There is so much research out there to back that up and it forms so much of my studies in UL for my Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology. I’ve had almost the perfect personal research project over lockdown. Think about the change in mood when you go out and exercise - it’s a mindset change where for half an hour you can forget about the news or work or whatever is happening.”
“Even when you are busy and back to work and going here-there-and-everything, hopefully people will achieve the benefits and that they can realise them so easily and cheaply. It’s not about going and paying for a gym or an expensive club member - I now have a huge appreciation for my home place. I used to drive into UL to go for a 5k run which is a bit ridiculous when you think about it,” she laughed.
So where to start?
“Go for something that is very accessible and easy to build into your lifestyle. Something that fits in easily because there might be full time work and kids and other responsibilities, so find something local. Something that is free and doesn’t need a membership fee because that can be a deterrent - start small and build it up. Start with not a lot of commitment and build the interest, desire and love for the activity because that is key. Find an activity that you really enjoy and not one that you are just doing to lose weight or to be active for the sake of being active. If you enjoy the activity it will be much easier to build it as a habit.”
She adds: “If we can eliminate some of the excuses it can make the habit building easier”.
”If you got the benefits of exercise and put them into a pill, everyone would want it and it would be the pill that is gone from the shelves because it has so many benefits and so little risk.”
* The No Proving, Just Moving campaign aims to showcase the benefits of physical activity and highlights that being physically active is the biggest gift you can give yourself. It is calling on all women - regardless of age, ability or sporting background - to create a new habit with physical activity. To make this journey easier, 20x20 partner, Lidl, has created a new dedicated online platform, 'Lidl Moves for 20x20'. You can view the new microsite at www.lidl.ie/20x20