Take a look at what other Manchester women are getting up to.

Many of us have felt nervous or self-conscious getting back into exercise or giving something a go for the first time; or we've found it hard to fit it into our hectic lives. Read our women's stories to see how they're doing it.

Find something you love here.

Poppy, 18

I live in Fallowfield and go to Loreto College in Hulme

What activity do you do?

I go to disability multi-sports at Wythenshawe Lifestyle Centre once a week and the gym twice a week at Withington Leisure Centre. I also do gym sessions at College. I've done sport since I was little.

What do you like about the classes?

For the multi-sports I like seeing my friends and having fun with them.

I like going to the gym on my own and doing it by myself.

What advice would you give to others?

Give it a try!

Nicky, 40

I live in Didsbury and I'm a Zumba teacher and work part time in customer service.

What activity do you do?

I teach 10 Zumba classes a week in Burnage, Wythenshawe, Didsbury and other locations. I also walk and cycle regularly.

How do you fit exercise around work and childcare?

It can be difficult, but I mainly exercise at the weekend and in the evening.

How did you first get into Zumba?

I attended Zumba classes for 4 years, then became a teacher. I was depressed after losing my dad to cancer and I had gained weight and had no energy or enthusiasm. Then I discovered Zumba it brought me back to life - a fantastic hour of enjoyment, fun, dancing and smiles. It literally did change my life. I got fit again and lost weight and made lots of new and wonderful friends.

What would you say to other women who fancy giving it a go, but feel nervous?

Everyone can feel self conscious at some time or other and the first step is the hardest. Take a friend, make that step together. Find something you enjoy and have fun! Exercise doesn't have to be boring.


I live in Ardwick and work full time in a nursing home.

What activity do you do?

I do fitness classes three times a week at Moss Side Leisure Centre. The sessions are part of the leisure centre's "Ladies morning", which I've been going to for 20 years!

How do you fit activity around your other commitments?

I work full time, as well as having three children and several grandchildren which keeps me busy! I always ensure I fit activity round work though, attending in the day if I'm working nights, or at weekends or evenings.

What do you like about Ladies Morning?

Attending the sessions is about much more than just keeping fit. I've made lots of friends from the local community and when I go there now, I always know people. There are women of different ages and many nationalities, and it's good to get to know them all and have a good catch up at each session.

What advice would you give to women who fancy exercising, but aren't sure where to start?

At the classes I go to, everyone is very friendly and helpful and will show you what to do. Just try it.

Steph, 33

I live in Moston and have 2 children – 5 year old Noah and 6 month old Jacob.

I used to take part in exercise classes regularly, but it became harder to fit them in when I had children and I couldn't take my baby with me!

What exercise do you do?

I do Buggy Bootcamp classes and yoga with Jacob. I felt nervous going along the first time, but soon realised that everyone was in the same boat and like me, others felt a bit self-conscious after having a baby.

The classes are great as I can do some activity and Jacob can come with me too!

Being a new mum can sometimes feel a bit isolating, but getting out to these classes always makes me feel better as everyone's really friendly and I can chat to other mums and share any concerns.

Even though I don't always feel like going (especially if we've had a bad night!), I'm always glad I have afterwards as it's good to get out of the house; meet other mums and do some exercise.

What advice would you give to others?

Everyone's there for the same reason – to get out and about, and to do something for yourself, as well as seeing other people, so give it a try.

Pop into your health centre or ask your health visitor what's on in your area.

Jessica, 14

I live in Abbey Hey and go to Wright Robinson Sports College.

What activity do you do?

I dance at Sporting Dynamite at Sporting Edge in Openshawe on Fridays and Tuesdays. I also dance at Urban Expression youth night at the National Cycling Centre on Saturdays.

What do you like about dance?

I really love dance,it makes me feel really happy. I have made loads of new friends through dancing at Sporting Dynamite. My dance coach Megan inspires me!

What would you say to other girls who fancy giving it a go?

Give it a try. If you don't like it then you don't have to carry it on and can try something else.

Mel, 33

I live in New Moston and am a stay at home mummy.

What activity do you do?

run with a group called walk2run Blackley at Boggart Hole Clough (Charlestown) in a supportive group where no-one gets left behind. We have all ages from beginners to elites and we all support each other and recognise everyone's achievements. I run on my own a few times a week as well.

How do you fit exercise around being a mum?

I have five children 16,14,12,10 and 8! It's difficult to get out there and run but my health and fitness is important and I push myself to do it.

What advice would you give to other women?

The first step is always going to be the hardest..

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