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4 Fun Activities for Women Wanting to Get in Shape This Summer

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So, you've decided that this summer you're finally going to launch that diet and exercise regimen you've been procrastinating on for so long. Summer is the perfect time to get in shape because the heat makes you sweat, which aids in burning calories.


Of course, the beautiful weather also makes it a wonderful time for the kind of outdoor activities that will have your physique toned up in no time. However, not all exercises are fun, and some activities aren't ideal for women who want to build a slender and sleek frame, as certain training types will lead to the development of bulky muscle mass. With that said, here are four challenging physical activities and sports that are perfect for women who are trying to get in shape during the summertime:

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Roller Skating

Roller skating is one of those activities that are great for the entire family. While men can also benefit from this entertaining physical pastime, the motions and movements involved in roller skating make it a great toner for the legs, buttocks, and thighs, which are obviously areas that many women would like to refine and improve. Plus, it never really feels strenuous, so it's something you can do all summer long without feeling like you're exercising. However, it's good to make sure you're opting for roller skates for women instead of just a general unisex pair, as women's roller skates are usually more lightweight with girly aesthetics.

Swimming

Swimming is one of the most effective ways to build stamina and endurance without putting a lot of strain on your joints, ligaments, and muscles. It also contributes towards a more lean and athletic physique while contouring the entire body simultaneously. Furthermore, swimming in the ocean can be great for your skin because the saltwater cleanses your pores of excess oil and dirt. You might even want to consider joining a community swim team to take a more guided approach.

Volleyball

It's no secret that volleyball is a popular sport for women. It's also very well-known that volleyball players often have a shape that many women would love to have. Of course, any activity that has you running and jumping so frequently is going to work wonders on your lower body, and the constant slapping and batting motions that you make towards the ball also help build core strength and slim your arms.

Tennis

Tennis is a bit hard on the joints and may require more practice before you're actually able to play competitively, but if you're willing to put in the hard work, it will reward you with the lean and toned body that tennis players are known for having.

Why Not Try All Four?

If you can't honestly state that you've tried all four of the above activities for extended periods, then you don't really know for sure how much of an impact they might have on your weight loss effort. Spend a week trying each of them before you decide which one will be your go-to activity for weight loss this summer.

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Going Makeupless To The Office May Be Costing You More Than Just Money

Women have come a long way in redefining beauty to be more inclusive of different body types, skin colors and hair styles, but society's beauty standards still remain as high as we have always known them to be. In the workplace, professionalism is directly linked to the appearance of both men and women, but for women, the expectations and requirements needed to fit the part are far stricter. Unlike men, there exists a direct correlation between beauty and respect that women are forced to acknowledge, and in turn comply with, in order to succeed.


Before stepping foot into the workforce, women who choose to opt out of conventional beauty and grooming regiments are immediately at a disadvantage. A recent Forbes article analyzing the attractiveness bias at work cited a comprehensive academic review for its study on the benefits attractive adults receive in the labor market. A summary of the review stated, "'Physically attractive individuals are more likely to be interviewed for jobs and hired, they are more likely to advance rapidly in their careers through frequent promotions, and they earn higher wages than unattractive individuals.'" With attractiveness and success so tightly woven together, women often find themselves adhering to beauty standards they don't agree with in order to secure their careers.

Complying with modern beauty standards may be what gets your foot in the door in the corporate world, but once you're in, you are expected to maintain your appearance or risk being perceived as unprofessional. While it may not seem like a big deal, this double standard has become a hurdle for businesswomen who are forced to fit this mold in order to earn respect that men receive regardless of their grooming habits. Liz Elting, Founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation, is all too familiar with conforming to the beauty culture in order to command respect, and has fought throughout the course of her entrepreneurial journey to override this gender bias.

As an internationally-recognized women's advocate, Elting has made it her mission to help women succeed on their own, but she admits that little progress can be made until women reclaim their power and change the narrative surrounding beauty and success. In 2016, sociologists Jaclyn Wong and Andrew Penner conducted a study on the positive association between physical attractiveness and income. Their results concluded that "attractive individuals earn roughly 20 percent more than people of average attractiveness," not including controlling for grooming. The data also proves that grooming accounts entirely for the attractiveness premium for women as opposed to only half for men. With empirical proof that financial success in directly linked to women's' appearance, Elting's desire to have women regain control and put an end to beauty standards in the workplace is necessary now more than ever.

Although the concepts of beauty and attractiveness are subjective, the consensus as to what is deemed beautiful, for women, is heavily dependent upon how much effort she makes towards looking her best. According to Elting, men do not need to strive to maintain their appearance in order to earn respect like women do, because while we appreciate a sharp-dressed man in an Armani suit who exudes power and influence, that same man can show up to at a casual office in a t-shirt and jeans and still be perceived in the same light, whereas women will not. "Men don't have to demonstrate that they're allowed to be in public the way women do. It's a running joke; show up to work without makeup, and everyone asks if you're sick or have insomnia," says Elting. The pressure to look our best in order to be treated better has also seeped into other areas of women's lives in which we sometimes feel pressured to make ourselves up in situations where it isn't required such as running out to the supermarket.

So, how do women begin the process of overriding this bias? Based on personal experience, Elting believes that women must step up and be forceful. With sexism so rampant in workplace, respect for women is sometimes hard to come across and even harder to earn. "I was frequently assumed to be my co-founder's secretary or assistant instead of the person who owned the other half of the company. And even in business meetings where everyone knew that, I would still be asked to be the one to take notes or get coffee," she recalls. In effort to change this dynamic, Elting was left to claim her authority through self-assertion and powering over her peers when her contributions were being ignored. What she was then faced with was the alternate stereotype of the bitchy executive. She admits that teetering between the caregiver role or the bitch boss on a power trip is frustrating and offensive that these are the two options businesswomen are left with.

Despite the challenges that come with standing your ground, women need to reclaim their power for themselves and each other. "I decided early on that I wanted to focus on being respected rather than being liked. As a boss, as a CEO, and in my personal life, I stuck my feet in the ground, said what I wanted to say, and demanded what I needed – to hell with what people think," said Elting. In order for women to opt out of ridiculous beauty standards, we have to own all the negative responses that come with it and let it make us stronger– and we don't have to do it alone. For men who support our fight, much can be achieved by pushing back and policing themselves and each other when women are being disrespected. It isn't about chivalry, but respecting women's right to advocate for ourselves and take up space.

For Elting, her hope is to see makeup and grooming standards become an optional choice each individual makes rather than a rule imposed on us as a form of control. While she states she would never tell anyone to stop wearing makeup or dressing in a way that makes them feel confident, the slumping shoulders of a woman resigned to being belittled looks far worse than going without under-eye concealer. Her advice to women is, "If you want to navigate beauty culture as an entrepreneur, the best thing you can be is strong in the face of it. It's exactly the thing they don't want you to do. That means not being afraid to be a bossy, bitchy, abrasive, difficult woman – because that's what a leader is."