The labyrinthine corridors of Barkly Square were packed on Saturday as Make Your Move, a special Women's Health Week Event, brought new ideas and enthusiasm to encourage women of all ages and abilities to take some time to take care of themselves.
As well as high-energy self-defence classes and a taste of circuit training, there were nurses offering blood pressure checks and nutritionists with healthy wholefood ideas, while guest speakers, including Collingwood footballer Sophie Alexander, got to tell their own stories and share ideas.
The cardio-drumming activity, and the famous judgement-free No Lights No Lycra disco upstairs, were also popular.
The range of activities is important, according to organiser Georgia Savage, from Ballarat YMCA - there are so many ways to focus on wellness, so having a one-stop-shop, where women can check out new things or find something which matches their own interests, will help women "invest in their own health".
"I'm really hoping women take what they tried and learned today, and integrate it into their everyday lives," she said, noting two barriers to participation, or even making time for yourself, was often time and childcare.
"We've got sessions running like Rock Up Netball - you can try today and which has a pathway to a regular, weekly Rock Up Netball session that's completely commitment-free, social, non-competitive, but still really fun," she said.
"We want to provide women with these pathways to opportunities that mean they don't have to buy a 10-pass to a gym, or they don't have to be at a sport every Saturday morning at 8.30am to be able to do it."
Ballarat-based GP Dr Amy Litras added it was promising to see women of all ages and backgrounds on the day.
"There's some really fantastic information here - I guess more importantly, people can actually have a go, practise and try things," she said.
"Health information can be confusing, there's a lot of stuff out there that can be really fad-based sometimes, and a lot of misinformation - this is a good way to get reliable stuff
I think, really, there's something across the whole spectrum here."
She said the guest speakers were particularly inspiring, especially Ms Alexander.
"She spoke so articulately about the things that helped her in her journey, from things like connection with the family and her football club, and her dog, (and) other people like Deb from This Girl Can who talked about her own journey," she said.
"For me, hearing other people's stories has been really inspiring - it's been really fun just to see everyone having a go and throwing themselves into it."
Ms Savage said the successful day - reservations were completely filled early - was a good sign for the partnerships building between different health organisations across Ballarat.
"YMCA, Ballarat Health Service, Ballarat Community Health, the City of Ballarat, SportCentral, and the Western Victoria Primary Health Network - it's been great to all work together," she said.
"We all have a slightly different focus, and everyone's bringing what they can to the table.
"We're hoping, as a group, we can continue to run this event every year."
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