Diversity and Inclusion in Fitness – Why We Need More of It

1. Fitness Is for Everyone

Contrary to what we see portrayed in fitness magazines and throughout social media, fitness is for everyone. Fitness isn’t for a particular size, gender, shape, age, or ethnicity. You don’t need to look a certain way to have a ‘fit’ body, nor do you need to possess any particular physical characteristics to engage in physical activity of any form.

2. Representation Matters

Representation is vital because what people see shapes their perception of reality and what they deem to be possible for themselves and for people who look like them. It’s also important for people from dominant groups to see what’s possible for people who don’t look like them.

3. It Creates Welcoming Spaces

Have you ever walked into a space and not felt welcomed? For members of marginalized communities, this is an all too common experience. If we aren’t considering overlapping identities such as gender, sexuality, or race, it’s easy to lack the awareness of how we are creating less than welcoming spaces, both in-person and online. Being a minority or member of a marginalized group in a non-diverse setting or industry can feel extremely isolating.

4. Diversity and Inclusion Gives Us Opportunities to Learn and Grow

If everyone in your social and professional circles looks just like you, you run the risk of groupthink. Even worse, you are missing out on important growth opportunities. Being around people who are different from yourself, who can offer a different perspective, one you may have never considered, allows you to expand your knowledge and self-awareness.

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