Lack access to fitness equipment or the time for rigorous training? Don’t worry! 6 simple health tips for all you busy Indian women!
By Maria Ramjne
Home. Work. Grocery Shopping. Handling the children. In life’s daily grind, what suffers most in a women’s routine is exercise. If just reading on exercise, diet plans and fitness helped, we would be a very fit lot indeed, given the plethora of articles on the subject.
Unfortunately, fitness requires special time to be set aside and more importantly hard work. However, if you find that you face a time crunch for regular exercise, there are various activities that can be incorporated into your daily routine that will go a long way towards increasing health and fitness levels.
Simple Health Tip 1: Healthy Eating
This has nothing whatsoever to do with diet plans. It is about eating sensibly. Eat a hearty breakfast in the morning. Make this a habit. Many think eating a hearty breakfast will lead to increased weight. No. In fact you are doing yourself more harm by skipping a healthy breakfast as you’ll feel drained through the day and will also have a tendency to snack later on. Eat a light dinner. If your job pushes mealtimes too far apart, stock up on healthy snacks for those in between hunger pangs. And if you can’t escape finishing what is on your child’s plate, simply use a smaller plate for yourself. This way you’ll stick to smaller helpings for yourself and won’t overfill your stomach with leftover food.
Simple Health Tip 2: Stretch
Every hour or so stretch yourself. This has several benefits. It prevents muscles from becoming sore and aching at the end of the day. It improves circulation and also helps remove toxins from your body. If you’re at work and feel embarrassed breaking into semi -yoga at the office, just head to the cloakroom and do them there. If you’re at home, then set aside some time twice a day. Simply bending and touching your toes, a couple of neck and shoulder rotations and knee rotations will go a long way in making you feel more agile and energetic till the end of the day.
Similarly, take a break from typing, rotate your wrists and rub them. Typing continuously, with your wrist on the laptop or the desk while handling the mouse can give you what is known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which can be quite painful. Also try to implement the 20-20-20 rule for reducing excessive strain on your eyes.
Simple Health Tip 3: Post lunch, walk
If you have the option of walking across to a company canteen or café to eat your lunch, do so. Never eat at your desk. One, you will be tempted to work while eating, which is not a good idea. Two, you won’t get a chance to walk post your lunch, thereby losing out the little chance that you have of digesting your food. Similarly, if you’re at home, avoid hitting the bed for an afternoon siesta post your lunch.
Simple Health Tip 4: Break up your exercise
An ex-colleague came up with a creative form of regular exercise during work hours. We worked on the seventh floor of a building. He started by going down one floor and coming up twice a day. After a week of doing this continuously, he changed this routine to two floors. After two weeks, he upped it to three floors and also increased the frequency to three times daily. After three months he was able to go down all seven floors and walk them up twice daily. The first couple of weeks, there was much amusement and joking, but soon a lot of other colleagues were doing the same.
There is no excuse for not exercising and if you are determined you will find a way even if it means breaking up the exercise into several smaller installments.
Simple Health Tip 5: Drink lots of water
Keep a couple of 1 litre bottles filled with water on your desk. Target to finish them by the end of the day. Soon it will be a habit.
Simple Health Tip 6: Back Pain
Every woman, at some point of her life, complains of nagging back pain. We don’t realize the crimes we commit in our day to day life that lead to this.
a. The bags that carry our world: Do we really need to carry bags that will help us survive if we were stranded on an island for a week? These big and heavy bags put a lot of pressure on the spine and are a huge health hazard. If you need them, keep extra sets of make- up kits, deodorants and tissues in the office rather than carrying them around in your bag. Every Saturday, clean your bag of all the papers, receipts, bills and other junk that collects over the week.
b. High Heels: Alternate between high heels and flat shoes every week. Better still, keep a pair of high heels that you can pull out for important meetings, or when you have to step out in the evening.
c. Sit straight: Make sure your computer monitor has to be at eye level so you don’t slouch. (Watch the excellent video above for a demonstration)
Exercising is not about losing weight or looking svelte. It is about being healthy and increasing your stamina in order to be able to perform the various tasks required in your busy daily life, as well as preventing osteoporosis, loss of bone density and other illnesses as you grow older.