National Women’s Health and Fitness Day

Nation’s largest annual health promotion event for women started in 2002

RALEIGH — More than 500 groups across the country will host events Wednesday at senior centers, parks, hospitals, health clubs and other various locations to focus attention on the importance of regular physical activity and health awareness for women as they celebrate National Women’s Health and Fitness Day. Started by the Health Information Resource Center in 2002, it is the nation’s largest annual health promotion event for women. The goal of this event is to encourage women to take control of their health by learning the facts they need to make smart health choices, and to make time for regular physical activity.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and two days of muscle-strengthening activities a week for women ages 18-64. If you are just starting out, one simple activity you can add to your daily activities is a full body plank. By holding this position for one minute a day you will help to strengthen your upper body, lower body and core muscles. As you get stronger, extend the hold times and focus on perfecting your form to make it more challenging.

Current workout trends include wearable technology like Apple Watch and fitness trackers like Fitbit, exercise apps for meal and program planning, and group training options such as SoulCycle, Pure Barre, Orangetheory and CrossFit. Foam roller sales have also increased as an aid for easing sore muscles after a workout. Juice and smoothie bars are opening up across the country as women see this as a quick and easy way to get more fruits and vegetables into their daily routines.

As more and more women take their workout wear from the gym or fitness studio to the office, athleisure has taken over as a major fashion trend. Brands like Lululemon, Alo, Fabletics and Athleta have created more fashionable, high-end apparel that resulted in an estimated $270 billion spent last year.

Whether you start with a new smart watch, a smoothie or a fashionable workout ensemble, Wednesday is the day for women to focus on their health and fitness.