The event opened with some inspiring guest speakers (all of which made me cry like a baby with heartache and happiness for their journeys). A real highlight was hearing Kerryn Harvey share her story of recovery after a minor bike accident in 2013 left her with an aggressive bacterial infection that resulted in the amputation of her arm and shoulder. Since then, she has rebuilt her body to achieve a silver medal in the amputees triathlon world championships. If that doesn't inspire you to overcome your barriers to exercise, I don't know what will.
An eye opening session was conducted by Antony Lo from The Physio Detective entitled Stop Hurting Women with Exercise. Antony likes to challenge popular beliefs about exercise and encouraged us to challenge the status quo and think more broadly about how we train women. For example, he believes that physios and trainers "hurt" women with exercise by:
- Promoting weakness eg, if you have a sore knee, avoid squats
- Keeping it comfortable: you have to stress to progress
- Focusing too heavily on the core: cuing core activation too often and at the wrong time
- Creating fear: for pregnant and postnatal women, or those with injuries
- Training women like men: we are biologically different so why train the same