This Girl Can – Victoria Podcast: Karen’s episode

VicHealth’s new This Girl Can – Victoria podcast is all about empowering women to get active whenever, wherever and however they choose

This week, we meet Karen who feels pure joy when she gets active.

Episode 2: Karen

“It’s been an absolute homecoming to come back to my body, to love it, and be thrilled with what it can do.”

Physical activity has been a part of Karen’s identity for as long as she can remember. Her world changed when she lost her leg at aged 17. Years later she discovered her love of swimming, which is now central to her life.

“When I went for a swim, I always came back happy. I came back joyful. I came back integrated with my body, my mind, my soul. So definitely being physical is almost like No. 1 for my happiness,” said Karen.

In the podcast, Karen also touches on sexuality, motherhood, and the joyous release being physical gives her.

Listen now and subscribe in Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or wherever you’re listening right now.

Karen has also shared some of her amazing playlists to get active to, click below to listen: 

Karen swimming in a pool

Missed the first episode?

In Episode 1, Jagriti shared her love for Bollywood dancing, how it makes her feel, and the ups and down’s she’s faced.

Listen to Episode 1 and read about the new This Girl Can – Victoria Podcast series in our previous post, or search for This Girl Can – Victoria wherever you’re listening to podcasts.

Transcript

For a full transcript of the podcast, click here

Have a coronavirus question?

For all coronavirus questions visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) hotline on 1800 020 080.

staying apart keeps us together graphic from DHHS

Home exercise tips from This Girl Can – Victoria ambassadors

Get inspired by these everyday Victorian women showing how they’re  exercising at home to stay active during the coronavirus pandemic

Our This Girl Can – Victoria ambassadors are everyday women who came forward to share their stories about getting active.

There are no models or professional athletes here, just women of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, getting active at home – however they choose.

See what’s helping our ambassadors stay active and feel great during the coronavirus pandemic.

Brenda uses a piece of her clothesline as a skipping rope

Woman uses clothesline as skipping rope to exercise at home (This Girl Can - Victoria ambassador Brenda

Brenda enjoys activities that don’t require lots of equipment, generally preferring to keep it to “good shoes and a good bra”. So she has turned a piece of clothesline into a skipping rope to stay active at home.

After high school, Brenda had a 15-year break where she “didn’t do anything”, then when she got around to getting active again, she did it by walking first, then running eventually. Now getting active makes Brenda feel alive. See Brenda’s story here.

When was the last time you tried skipping, or another activity you might not have done since school?

Jaime does hip-raises with her smiling toddler along for the ride

Mother does hip raises with her child sitting on top of her to get some exercise at home (Jaime is a This Girl Can - Victoria ambassador)

Jaime has a toddler and uses some of her time down on the floor with bub to sneak in a few strength exercises that double as ‘horsey rides’, it’s a win-win!

After her first baby, Jaime felt self-conscious getting active, but she was happy when she got back into doing the activities she loves. See Jaime’s story here.

Sana uses a belt and yoga mat for a DIY strength-and-stretch routine at home

After her first child, Sana realised she needed to get stronger physically and mentally. “Stress comes with the job of motherhood, and stress is a physical thing, so you need a physical outlet for it”. 

Now Sana does strength training at home while her baby is sleeping: “My second child has not been an easy baby from day one, but I’ve been able to handle it better”.

And while yoga studios have special adjustable straps you can use to support yourself as you stretch, Sana uses a belt to do exactly the same thing at home!

Woman does yoga stretches at home using a belt instead of a yoga strap (This Girl Can - Victoria ambassador Sana)
Woman does 'cat cow' back stretch exercises at home in backyard (Sana is a This Girl Can - Victoria ambassador
Woman does downward dog to plank yoga at home in backyard (Sana is a This Girl Can - Victoria ambassador)
Woman does bridge yoga pose to exercise at home in backyard (Sana is a This Girl Can - Victoria ambassador)

Sana has learned how to do different stretches and strengthening exercises so she can build them into a home exercise routine. See a video of Sana telling her story here.

Sindi and her daughter do pullups

Sindi has seven kids, and she fits in some physical activity whenever she can. Here she is with one of her daughters doing pullups in a doorway at home.

Woman and daughter do pullups in doorway to exercise at home (Sindi is a This Girl Can - Victoria ambassador)

Both Sindi and her daughter have built the strength to do these pullups over time. Not taking themselves too seriously, it’s likely there were a lot of laughs along the way. See Sindi’s story here.

We hope every woman in Victoria feels like she can give something a go at home like these women have, no matter how good they are. All that matters is that you’re giving it a go. Try to focus on how you feel, and you might find you keep going back for more.


Disclaimer

As with all exercise programs you need to work within your own limits. If you feel unwell, have any injuries, health conditions, are pregnant or just had a baby, please consult your medical or allied health professional before undertaking any exercise including the activities on this page.

These activities are a collection of suggested exercises to provide you with some ideas to move your body. It is intended for personal use only and is not a substitute for personal healthcare or physical therapy.

VicHealth is not liable for any injuries or harm you may sustain while performing the exercises on this page.

Have a coronavirus question?

For all coronavirus questions visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) hotline on 1800 020 080.

This Girl Can – Victoria Podcast – out now!

VicHealth’s This Girl Can – Victoria is launching a podcast to help empower women to get active whenever, wherever and however they choose

In this podcast series our This Girl Can – Victoria ambassadors share their stories about getting active their way. These inspiring conversations explore how each ambassador moves her body, the challenges she’s faced throughout her journey and how she’s overcome these to enjoy how being active makes her feel. 

Every woman in Victoria is on her own journey to being active. Join us each week for the next eight weeks, to hear a story that we hope will empower you to get active whenever, wherever and however you choose – and to enjoy the feeling when you do. 

 Episode 1: Jagriti 

…and that person immediately just looked me up and down and said, “aren’t you too fat to be a dancer?” And he just said it like that. I just love to dance…I feel so incredibly alive when I’m dancing and I won’t give that up for anything.

Listen now and subscribe in Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or wherever you’re listening right now. 

About Episode 1: Jagriti 

Meet Jagriti. 

Her love of movement began when she was four years old, watching Bollywood movies upstairs in front of the TV while her parents were busy in their Indian restaurant downstairs.   

As an adult, after working on Bollywood film projects in India, she returned to Australia almost a decade ago and started a dance business.  

In this honest and revealing interview, Jagriti talks about her love for Bollywood dancing, how it makes her feel, the ups and down’s she’s faced, and how coronavirus has impacted her business and life. 

Check out Jagriti’s at home Bollywood dance class here.  

woman bollywood dancing

Transcript 

For a full transcript of the podcast, click here.

Have a coronavirus question?  

For all coronavirus questions visit  www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) hotline on 1800 020 080. 

staying apart keeps us together graphic from DHHS

Celebrate International Dance Day at home

Get inspired to bust some moves at home on International Dance Day: see how these Victorian women are dancing at home

Because Wednesday 29 April is International Dance Day, we’re sharing how two of our This Girl Can – Victoria ambassadors are dancing to stay active and feel great during the coronavirus pandemic.

Our This Girl Can – Victoria ambassadors are everyday women who came forward to share their love of physical activity. They’re not models or professional athletes, they’re women of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, getting active at home – however they choose.

Karen and her daughter do the Blinding Lights TikTok Challenge, a 15-second dance routine to music

Mother does the Blinding Lights TikTok Challenge with her daughter to exercise at home (This Girl Can - Victoria ambassador Karen) - full dance

This 15-second dance routine to the song ‘Blinding Lights’ by The Weeknd is one of the many ‘TikTok Challenges’ that are popular with young people and their families to try, then share on TikTok (a social media platform).

It’s supposed to include at least one parent doing the dance, and Karen’s daughter did the challenge on one leg like her mother, who is a below-the-knee amputee, and feels pure joy when she gets active. See Karen’s story here.

If you’re a mum looking for a feel-good activity to do with your kids, why not give it a shot following Karen’s moves below?

Mother does ‘the dab’ dance move in the Blinding Lights TikTok Challenge with her daughter to exercise at home (This Girl Can - Victoria ambassador Karen)
Mother does the Blinding Lights TikTok Challenge with her daughter to exercise at home (This Girl Can - Victoria ambassador Karen)
Mother does the Blinding Lights TikTok Challenge with her daughter to exercise at home (This Girl Can - Victoria ambassador Karen)
Mother does the Blinding Lights TikTok Challenge with her daughter to exercise at home (This Girl Can - Victoria ambassador Karen)

Jagriti freestyle-dances around her living room

Woman dances around living room to exercise at home (Jagriti is a This Girl Can - Victoria ambassador)

Jagriti shows us how some of the best dancing you can do is in the comfort of your pyjamas at home, with some great music.  

Jagriti dances to forget her worries and be present. She helps others learn fun ways to move to music too – check out her 30-minute Bollywood dance video here.

When it comes to dancing (or any type of exercise or physical activity), it doesn’t matter how good you are. All that matters is how it makes you feel and that you’re giving it a go.

If you want to get active and feel great, why not try some dancing at home to celebrate International Dance Day today?

Disclaimer

As with all exercise programs you need to work within your own limits. If you feel unwell, have any injuries, health conditions, are pregnant or just had a baby, please consult your medical or allied health professional before undertaking any exercise including the activities on this page.

These activities are a collection of suggested exercises to provide you with some ideas to move your body. It is intended for personal use only and is not a substitute for personal healthcare or physical therapy.

VicHealth is not liable for any injuries or harm you may sustain while performing the exercises on this page.

Have a coronavirus question?

For all coronavirus questions visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) hotline on 1800 020 080.

30min online dance class from This Girl Can – Victoria

Lift your spirits and learn some new dance moves at home with an online Bollywood tutorial with Jagriti [This Girl Can – Victoria ambassador and qualified Bollywood instructor]

Dancing like no one is watching has possibly never been more achievable than during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

And because our This Girl Can – Victoria campaign is all about encouraging women to get active no matter what they look like, or whether they know all the moves, it could be the perfect time to give a new activity a go, or get back into doing some physical activity after a break.

So if you’re in need of a feel-good activity that you can do while you’re staying at home, we encourage you to give Jagriti’s Bollywood dance moves a shot.

They can all be done at home in your backyard, kitchen, living room or bedroom.

And the moves are suitable for a beginner, or someone with “two left feet”, as Jagriti says in the video.

If you have kids at home with you, they can join in – Jagriti says kids always love moves like ‘chicken wings’, ‘shoo the flies’ and ‘pat the dog’!

We bet you won’t be able to do the whole 30-minutes without breaking into a big grin, which is a great way to look after your mental health and wellbeing while you’re staying at home.

Trying some new dance moves or any other form of exercise is a great way to boost how you feel physically and mentally.

So follow this 30-minute online Bollywood dance tutorial by our This Girl Can – Victoria ambassador to add some energy and movement into your home. 

For all coronavirus questions visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) hotline on 1800 020 080.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and This Girl Can – Victoria

How women can get active during the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions

While we stay at home to help reduce the risk of infection from coronavirus (COVID-19), exercise is as important as ever to help keep us healthy.

We’re exploring different ways of delivering activities and inspiration to you, such as via digital channels, starting with our 30-minute online dance class by our ambassador Jagriti, who is a qualified Bollywood dance instructor.

Subscribe to our inspiration email series for women with updates on available online activities.

We’ll also share inspiration from our ambassadors, like Sana who exercises at home with her children, Sarah who enjoys the calm of yoga, and Tracy who walks her dogs (now while staying 1.5 metres away from others!).

We hope this will inspire you to try adding some exercise into your day while you’re staying at home, because regular physical activity is great for your mental and physical health.

Of course, if you’re feeling unwell please stay home and check the Department of Health and Human Services advice.

What’s happening with This Girl Can Week?

Due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in Victoria, VicHealth has postponed This Girl Can Week – Victoria 2020 until further notice.   

How can This Girl Can help me during coronavirus (COVID-19)?

For some women, this could be a good opportunity to give a new activity a go at home, or get back into doing some physical activity after a break.

Remember, This Girl Can – Victoria campaign is all about encouraging women to get active whenever and however they choose. It doesn’t matter what you look like, or how good you are, all that matters is you’re giving it a go and focussing on how getting active feels.

And we’ll be here, cheering you on.

For all coronavirus questions visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) hotline on 1800 020 080.

Women help babysit side-court while others learn the game

There are no ‘tryouts’ at Stawell Women’s Day Basketball Club.

Women without any basketball skills can come and give it a go in a supportive group, and there’s always someone to keep an eye on kids and babies side-court.

“You don’t have to know how to play just come and we’ll teach you on the court”

Most of the women didn’t know how to play before they joined, and said there was no pressure when they started.

A lot of Mums have found it suits them. A woman with three young kids said ‘we take it in turns babysitting so it allows us to come along and get some exercise’, while another said if her baby cries, others can jump on the court while she breastfeeds.

All of these women started out by simply going along to watch, with no strings attached.

“You don’t have to be any [specific] age, you don’t have to be skillful”

Members say there’s no pressure at the club – that it’s more fun than competitive, and everyone has a laugh together.

“There’s no criteria…it’s about having a good time”

Deb Slorach from Stawell Women’s Day Basketball Club wants to encourage more women to come along with their kids and still be able to get involved, but she knows a lot of sports ‘don’t allow that’.

Deb hopes this video will inspire others to create all-inclusive opportunities for women to get active.

“I don’t know how to do this!”

A player shouts “I don’t know how to do this!” during a training drill at Coburg Districts Football Club, and the team is all smiles.

The club created a women’s team this year, and the response from women and the rest of the club community has been great.

Goal!

Watch the full video created as part of the This Girl Can – Victoria – How Inclusive is your club? competition run by AFL Victoria.