From survivors to celebrities and from entrepreneurs to politicians, inspiring women come in all “shapes and sizes”. If you need a little kick of exercise (or life) inspiration, you will find it in these women.
When it comes to achieving fitness goals, from time to time – whether you’re looking to reach a certain running distance or you need a push to help you smash a marathon dream – we all need a little exercise inspiration. Look no further than these wonderful women. From survivors to celebrities and from entrepreneurs to politicians, inspiring women come in all “shapes and sizes”.
1. Julie Bishop
Australia’s first female foreign minister, Julie Bishop isn’t only pushing the limits with her political post that sees her promoting Australia’s interests, expanding our diplomatic presence and negotiating relationships with global leaders around the clock. Did you know foreign minister also runs between 6 to 10km every day? No matter where in the world she is.
2. Turia Pitt
It’s been a big couple of years for Turia Pitt. Not only has she competed in the Ironman World Championships, trekked the gruelling Kokoda Trail, she is also about to give birth to her first child. Yet this time six years ago, all of the above seemed impossible. Turia survived after being caught is a bushfire while competing in an 100km ultra-marathon. With burns to 65 per cent of her body and six months undergoing excruciating rehabilitation in hospital – including hundreds upon hundreds of operations – her doctor told her she would never run again. Her answer to that? “Oh, yeah? I’ll show you — I’m going to do an Ironman one day.” And of course, she did it. And then some. “[Six] years and over 200 operations later, I’m living proof that we are capable of more than we could ever imagine,” says Pitt.
3. Reese Witherspoon
Do you remember seeing the footage of Reese Witherspoon that went viral in 2015 when she was on stage at Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year gala? With hundreds of women gazing up at her, she declared, “I believe ambition is not a dirty word.” The room roared. Reese has ambition by the bucket loads, that’s for sure. Hello HBO miniseries, Big Little Lies. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour. There’s a reason it racked up 16 Emmy nominations. Starring in a few movies directed by women at the moment, too, she also has a production company, Pacific Standard, and new multimedia company, Hello Sunshine. One of her secrets? Exercise. And sometimes with her gal pals. “I like to run for about an hour, and I’m big into working out with girlfriends. It’s an acquired skill, being able to discuss your love life, children, and friends — all while you’re running! But we have mastered it,” she recently told Good Housekeeping.
4. Pippa Middleton
Arguable the bride of the year in 2017, Pippa Middleton is also, among other things, an impressive athlete. She runs, cycles, skis, swims and climbs her way around the world. At a competitive level, too. She’s so dedicated, in fact, that on her honeymoon in Sydney earlier this year she was spotted running with her husband.
5. Nicole Kidman
One of Australia’s most famous actresses, Nicole Kidman, has a stellar career and two beautiful children under her belt. Like her friend, Reese Witherspoon (who she’s been spotted running with), Nicole also loves running. Her late father was a marathon runner, so a love of jogging runs through her veins. A big advocate of looking after one’s health, she says, “Over the years I’ve realised that if you don’t have your health, you’ve got nothing. So that comes first.”
6. Rachel Finch
A model, mother of two and now health and fitness entrepreneur, we love how passionate Rachel is about getting people excited about and inspired to look after their health. She’s been spotted running in many fun runs and once told Body + Soul she exercises every day and loves running. “No matter what it is I try to be physically active every day,” she reveals. “I think it’s important to keep the body moving and to alter the intensity so we benefit from the varied heart rate. I love stretching before bed each night and when it comes to diet I follow the 90/10 rule – 90 percent health and 10 percent indulgence.”
7. Sylvia Jeffreys
One of the sweetest women in media in Australia, when Sylvia Jeffreys is not wearing her journalist hat she’s often lending her time to help various charities. While she likes to keep fit and active, she’s the first to admit she’s not a pro. And we love that about her. She told Body + Soul recently, “I follow a lot of fitness bloggers on Instagram for motivation, but then I feel bad because I can’t hold the impossible yoga poses they do – on a boat, wearing a bikini! So, I have to distance myself from those extreme abilities that I see, and work on my own fitness goals instead.” Sylvia says that fun runs are a more achievable goal for her. “I did the 10km Gold Coast fun run, followed by the 14km City2Surf in Sydney,” she said. “I set myself a time to beat – for the 14km run my goal was 90 minutes, and I beat it by five minutes. I know that for others that’s not a good time, but I couldn’t have felt more pleased with myself even if I’d done it in 45 minutes! I also love fun runs because you see people with all different levels of ability smashing out a goal. It’s really inspiring.”