ASICS Asia hosted its first-ever Regional Women’s Retreat from 6 to 9 September at Hotel Labaris in Thailand, nestled within the country’s first and third largest National Park – Khao Yai. The event emerged as a response to the ASICS State of Mind Index findings in 2022, which unveiled a gender exercise gap where women engage in significantly less exercise than men, thereby missing out on the positive mental benefits of regular physical activity. In a bid to understand and address this gap, ASICS gathered a diverse group of over 30 participants – spanning different nationalities, ethnicities and body types – to take part in a curated four-day programme focused on advocating the positive impact of movement to achieve a sound mind and sound body.
The retreat commenced with insightful focus group discussions guided by Dr. Dee Dlugonski, Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky, and Fiona Berwick, Head of Global Communications, ASICS. During these sessions, participants openly shared their experiences and challenges with exercise while pledging to delve deeper for gender gap and empower others to join in their journey to uncover the benefits of exercising.
The event promoted a sound body, commencing with an energizing sunrise run. A book reading session, co-hosted by ASICS Athlete and ultra-marathoner, Natalie Dau, and ASICS brand ambassador and Thai Actress, Taya Rogers, facilitated valuable discussions on optimizing running performance in sync with the menstrual cycle. Participants also immersed themselves in dynamic strength and core training sessions, led by Jeong Yun Lim from Netflix’s hit reality show, Physical 100, highlighting exercise’s transformative potential for a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
The event was not only about nurturing a sound body but also a sound mind. Attendees engaged in a journey of self-discovery through soul-soothing sound healing, meditation, and reflective journaling. Guided by Pearlyn Siew of Transmission Wellness, these sessions fostered a profound connection with their inner selves, emphasizing the holistic pursuit of mental well-being.
At the retreat, attendees had the opportunity to experience two of ASICS’ latest collections for AW23 – NAGINO™ and ACTIBREEZE™. NAGINO™, designed by women for women, celebrates the diversity of women’s bodies and movement styles. Complementing this, the ACTIBREEZE™ collection provides breathability, comfort, and style, allowing guests to embrace their authentic selves as they engaged in physical activities.
Dr. Dee Dlugonski said, “We were privileged to have the opportunity to meet with such a diverse and open group of women. Their individual and shared experiences not only gave us insight into some of the cultural differences, but it also highlighted some of the similarities we have seen around the world and the power of bringing together community to create change.”
Fiona Berwick adds, “At ASICS, we believe in the power of exercise to improve both physical and mental wellbeing, and it’s concerning to see a gender exercise gap persist. By listening to the experiences and perspectives of individuals around the world we hope to better understand the barriers to exercise for women and work towards creating a more equal and inclusive fitness You can contribute to closing the gender exercise gap by sharing insights for the ASICS Move Every Mind survey https://qualtrics.kcl.ac.uk/jfe/form/SV_8wUhJHgOSnk5u0m and http://www.asics.com/my/en-my.
Text and Photos provided by: Ms Choong Yee Kee, Asics Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.
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