Staying healthy and fit is something that’s deeply personal for each individual. The journey to fitness can mean different things to different people, and because society prioritizes certain body types, that journey can sometimes be difficult. A diverse and inclusive wellness space is something that every person has a right to, and here are a few reasons why.
Diversity is a topic that’s been discussed at length over the past decades, but it’s still something that many spaces find difficult to achieve. Author Nancy Wang Yuen suggests that the prevalence and prioritization of white, thin, able-bodied figures in mass media can have a cumulative effect on society, leading to lower self-esteem in people of color. By encouraging diversity, you encourage representation, helping people see themselves and improving self-esteem and self-confidence.
Diversity means making space for everyone, which allows each person the chance to shine. A wellness space should make sure to prioritize sports and activities that are inclusive of each individual. For example, our article on ‘How CrossFit Fosters Inclusivity’ puts a spotlight on the sport’s extensive efforts to promote acceptance and positivity. CrossFit may seem intimidating at first with all the varied, high intensity workouts, but the community itself is welcoming to people of all colors and shapes.
Creates a Warm Environment
Inclusivity makes people feel safe to show up and be themselves, creating a warmer environment that will have clients returning time and again. More and more efforts are being made to ensure that this can happen, with teachers and coaches across different disciplines taking steps to be more inclusive and open. Decolonizing Yoga has an article on ways yoga teachers can be inclusive when teaching and practicing, highlighting how practitioners endeavor to make yoga more open for everyone.
Presents Opportunities to Learn and Grow
Many people are cautious about taking their first steps towards fitness, especially in wellness spaces that are more public. By increasing diversity and inclusivity, you can make the space more comfortable for clients of all shapes and sizes, which in turn leads to self-confidence and personal growth. This self-confidence can help clients be more open to making mistakes and asking for help, allowing them to make the most of their wellness journeys. Scientific American found that socially diverse groups are more innovative than homogenous groups, which means that your classes and students are more likely to help each other and find ways to think out of the box if they’re diverse.
Welcomes a More Pleasant Experience
Héctor González-Jiménez from the University of York conducted research that found that diversity and body confidence go hand-in-hand. Research that advertisements featuring skinny, conventionally-attractive women caused lower self-esteem in young girls, while more diverse body shapes in advertisements actually increased self-esteem. Those who have a globally-connected, diverse, or cosmopolitan outlook were actually found to have a better relationship with their bodies. Diversity and inclusivity boosts self-confidence, and when your clients are self-confident then they’re happier, and when they’re happier they have a more pleasant experience with wellness.
Interested in starting your own wellness journey? Try out our article on ‘5 Reasons Why You Should Start Doing Yoga Today’ and see if it’s the right fit for you.
Jane Adamson is a Canadian import who moved to the Philippines three years ago for a change of pace. After working in the corporate world for ten years, she decided one day to pack up her things and head halfway across the world for a taste of living somewhere brand new.
She lived and worked in Bangkok and Ipoh for a few months as an English teacher, before eventually washing up on the shores of the Philippines. While she has a variety of different interests, Jane’s first loves have always been food and fashion, and she’s looking forward to sharing her thoughts on these on Daydreaming in Paradise.