One local trainer is helping girls in the community make fitness and healthy choices a priority early in life.
Caitlin Hopkins runs the FitGirl program at Active Life Conditioning, which is a conditioning program designed for girls aged 12-16.
She’s also helped organize two one-day workshops in April for the FitGirl program and open to any girls aged 10-15. The workshops will include a workout conditioning component but will also focus on healthy eating and fun activities.
“I have a niece who’s five, and we were talking about what we loved about our bodies,” said Hopkins. “I asked 13 girls in my FitGirl class the same question and not one person could come up with an answer.”
Eventually, said Hopkins, the girls started complimenting one another and lifting each other up.
From there, Hopkins got the idea to do a full-day workshop and combine fitness with some talk about healthy eating and the importance of empowering each other.
“These girls need it so much,” said Hopkins. “Whether they’re an athlete or a ballerina, it’s still important to have a healthy body image”
With the prevalence of social media, Hopkins said girls are exposed to a world that doesn’t exist in reality.
“People post things on social media that are not truthful of what their life is,” said Hopkins. “Then a 14-year-old girl looks at it and thinks they should be like that and it’s not right.”
The FitGirl workshops in April will include a talk by Gwen Jamieson who is a registered social worker and part of the child and youth team of the Georgian Bay Family Health Team. She’ll be chatting with the girls about healthy eating.
The rest of the day will include conditioning class and yoga with a focus on functional movement and correct technique.
“We’ll be talking about body awareness and what’s healthy and relating that with being confident and feeling good about yourself.”
As Hopkins teaches the weekly FitGirl classes, she notices the girls are more themselves with each other, and are not nervous to be silly.
“They really push themselves during workouts, but they have a lot of fun,” said Hopkins, adding an all-girl class tends to be “less-intimidating” for the age group.
The workshops take place at Active Life Conditioning on April 6 and 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The April 6 event is for girls aged 13 to 15 and the April 7 event is for girls aged 10 to 12. You can click here to register for the workshop on April 6 and here for April 7.