International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the achievements of women around the world, and one area where women have made significant contributions throughout history is in the realm of wellness and fitness.
Today we’re highlighting five ladies who have inspired countless other women to prioritize their health and well-being, by encouraging physical activity, promoting healthy lifestyles, and pushing the limits, paving the way for a better future…
Best known for her work as a nurse during the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale was also a pioneer in public health and wellness. She emphasized the importance of sanitation, hygiene, and healthy living conditions in preventing disease and worked tirelessly to improve the health of soldiers and civilians alike.
Wilma Rudolph was an Olympic sprinter who overcame incredible odds to become one of the fastest women in the world. She was born prematurely and suffered from polio as a child but refused to let it hold her back, going on to win three gold medals at the 1960 Olympics and becoming a symbol of hope and perseverance for people all around the world.
Katherine Switzer is a marathon runner and women's sports pioneer who, in 1967, became the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon – despite attempts by race officials to stop her. Switzer's defiance paved the way for women to participate in long-distance running events and was just the beginning of her legacy as an advocate for women's sports.
Actress and activist Jane Fonda is also a fitness icon. In the 1980’s, she released a series of workout videos that became wildly popular and helped to popularize aerobics. Fonda's videos emphasized the importance of cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility, and they inspired millions of people across the world to get active.
Michelle ObamaDuring her time as First Lady, Michelle Obama championed health, wellness, and physical fitness. She launched the "Let's Move!" campaign to encourage healthy eating and physical activity among children and worked to promote community gardens, farmers' markets, and other initiatives to improve access to healthy food and encourage active lifestyles.