Women's History Month

Influential Women in Fitness and Health

In light of Women’s History Month being the month of March, I thought it would be appropriate to honor some very influential women who have made a historical impact on women’s lives today. So often women are easily overlooked for their accomplishments that have positively shifted our old ways of life. It is only right to reflect on some of the women who have made other women’s lives better in fitness and in health.

Elizabeth Blackwell

  • 1st woman to receive an M.D. degree from an American Medical School, Geneva Medical College
  • In 1849, founded New York Infirmary where women can gain physician experience
  • Today, women make up over 30 percent of physicians in the United States

Clara Barton

  • Risked her life by bringing supplies to Civil War soldiers
  • Founded the American Red Cross in 1881 that, today, provides disaster and international relief, organizes blood donations, supports military families, gives health and safety training,and provides development programs

Margaret Abbott

  • One of the 22 women who competed in the 1900 Paris Olympic games and was the 1st American woman to win an Olympic event
  • In the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games, she was the feature athlete of the 1900 Olympic games
  • As of the 2016 Rio Olympic games, 45 percent of competitors were women (the most yet)

Jean Nidetch

  • In 1963, she and some friends founded Weight Watchers after she struggled with weight loss for years and finally lost 70 lbs.
  • Weight Watchers focuses on science and has helped millions of men and women lose weight and live healthier lives

Nancy Brinker

  • Founded Susan B. Komen for the Cure in 1982 which provides research, education and health services
  • Survived breast cancer and publicly speaks about the illness and research
  • Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Obama in 2009

Oprah Winfrey

  • Not only North America’s 1st black multi-billionaire, but has also been ranked one of the most influential women in the world
  • Empowers women who struggle with weight gain and loss and now has a food brand, “O,That’s Good”, that gives a healthy spin on comfort food

Gabrielle Bernstein

  • Self-help guru named the “next-generation thought leader” from Oprah
  • Known for her meditations, lectures and bestselling books that focus on self-love, forgiveness and spirituality
  • Has spoken at places like Google and The Chopra Center helping women live happier,fulfilling lives

Kris Carr

  • Wellness activist who chose to live healthier and enjoy life more when informed of her rare and incurable cancer
  • Influenced thousands by speaking on health, happiness, love and spirituality
  • Has a Crazy Sexy brand, books and videos about looking and feeling better, weight loss, stress reduction and nourishing your spirits

Venus and Serena Williams

  • Venus Williams is a 7-time Grand Slam title winner in tennis along with many more awards
  • Serena Williams is a 23-time Grand Slam title winner in tennis along with even more awards than Venus
  • Both sisters were ranked Women’s Tennis Association at the No. 1 position in singles and doubles, received four gold medals at the Summer Olympic games, and now have an American documentary about their lives and careers as professional tennis players

Michelle Obama

  • Planted a vegetable garden at the White House in 2009 to help change the way children think about food and nutrition
  • This led into the Let’s Move! initiative in 2010 that focuses on childhood obesity and kids’pursuing their dreams
  • Let’s Move! brings healthier foods into schools, motivates kids to be more physically active and allows families to have access to healthy, affordable food

These are but a few women who have made a huge change in our world. As women, we must strive to uplift, empower and inspire one another in any and everything that we do. Something as simple as a smile or compliment goes a long way, not only for women but for men and children as well! So continue to spread love and joy, health and happiness throughout the world and impact it in such a pivotal way that it changes history!

References

Foss, J. (2015, March 11). 18 Women Who’ve Made Amazing Contributions to Health and

Fitness. Retrieved March 08, 2019, from https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-

Written by Yvonne Sims

Leave a reply